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How Erdogan Set Up Network Of Paramilitary Armed Groups To Promote Ankara’s Interests

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How Erdogan Set Up Network Of Paramilitary Armed Groups To Promote Ankara's Interests

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Submitted by ThomasSt exclusively for SouthFront.

The “long arm” of the Turkish president plays a key role in achieving his aspirations and strengthening of his power not only inside the country, but especially abroad, in a clear effort to extend Turkey’s influence to the wider North African region and the Middle East – in areas once ruled by the Ottoman Empire. Using existing practices and structures of the Turkish “deep state” (Türkiye’dederindevlet), with the help of a thriving defense industry, but also using modern methods such as proxy wars, President Erdogan wants to expand his prestige as an international leader but also the regional hegemony of his country.

From the establishment of the modern Turkish state the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) perceive themselves as the guardians of democracy and the secular state. They developed a culture of “loyalty to the state” rather than to the elected government, which led to a series of military coups when they considered the Kemalist orientation to be threatened.

The “deep state” remained in Turkish political terminology, while its action was certified by unsolved murders of leftists and Kurds. Erdogan described the “deep state” as a “dangerous phenomenon”, “a gang operating outside the law” and an “internal enemy” (Kemal’s expression) in 2007. However, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) inherited its modus operandi in dealing with opponents and now one could say that it has evolved.

“Department of Special Warfare” (Özel Harp Dairesi, ÖHD)

The Special Warfare Unit (ÖHD) was set up during the Cold War and shortly after the 1971 military coup to counter any Soviet invasion. However, it was used to crush political opponents, such as Turkish leftists, Kurdish activists, etc. It was one of the branches of Gladio, the network of special units in NATO countries aimed at dealing with a possible invasion of the USSR. Although the ÖHD was part of TSK, but a few were aware of its existence. Even former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was well informed about it in 1978, while he is said to have been surprised by the recruitment of the “Gray Wolves” by the ÖHD. (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3)

How Erdogan Set Up Network Of Paramilitary Armed Groups To Promote Ankara's Interests

Illustrative image

Gray Wolves

The main goal of the “Gray Wolves” was to fight the communist threats but also the PKK, the Kurdish separatist movement. As part of the youth wing of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), which is currently led by Erdogan’s collaborator Devlet Bahceli, and driven by ideology of pan-Turkism, members of this organization received military training with a Turkish-Islamic background. Their activities abroad intensified in the ‘80s. Then they started pogroms against an Armenian organization that allegedly assassinated Turkish diplomats. The unholy alliance of the Turkish state with the “Gray Wolves” against the Kurds was evidenced by the now infamous accident in Susurluk on November 3, 1996.

The “Gray Wolves” were also deployed in Chechnya, and after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, they were on the front lines alongside the Syrian Turkmen. (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3) The AKP-MHP political alliance, which was forged by the failed coup in 2016, gave them an “active” pre-election role in silencing political opponents and opposition voices. Their relationship with mafia that is known for their supranationalist positions, like Sedat Peker,were unveiled. (Link)

Close cooperation with Qatar

The Turkish-Qatari cooperation is also of great importance in the context of the Turkey’s attempt to pursue a foreign defense policy through its “military representatives”. (Link) Much of the Ankara-Doha close relationship concerns defense, as Turkey maintains about 3,000 troops on the Qatar’s territory, while there is a bilateral agreement to set up two Turkish bases, military and naval, in Qatar. (Link) Through its presence in Qatar, Turkey has for the first time had a “footprint” in the Gulf region.

How Erdogan Set Up Network Of Paramilitary Armed Groups To Promote Ankara's Interests

SADAT Defense claims it provides training services to the military Credit: SADAT

Turkish mercenaries and role of SADAT

In 2012, Brigadier General Adnan Tanriverdi and 22 of his colleagues, who had been expelled from the army because of their pro-Islamist beliefs, founded SADAT (SADAT Inc. International Defense Consultancy), the only private defense consulting firm in Turkey. SADAT provides defense consulting and training services, much like the notorious American Blackwater. Its clients include the Turkish police special unit (Polis Özel Harekat – PÖH), the newly armed neighborhood watchmen (Bekçi) that act as Erdogan’s revolutionary bodyguard, but also the special presidential guards, known as the “Reinforcements” (Takviye).

SADAT was selected to play a key role in training mercenary groups that could be used by Ankara to fulfill its regional ambitions. This strategy was also applied in neighboring Syria amid the long civil war that swept the country after the Arab Spring.

SADAT undertook the training of guerrilla fighters, by setting up several bases in the Istanbul and Marmara areas. (Link) The training of a large and controlled Syrian paramilitary force allowed three Turkish operations to invade Syria: “Euphrates Shield“, “Olive Branch” and “Peace Spring“. (Link) These were costly military operations aimed at the creation of controlled zones in northern Syria to prevent the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish entity and to secure influence by occupying territory.

Similar methods were used in Libya. (Link) The companies that recruited the fighters naturalized them as Turks, while signing a 3-6 month employment contracts, with up to $ 3,000 salary. The process of transferring fighters from Syria to Turkey and from there to Libya was carried out by SADAT and under the supervision of the Turkish army. (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5)

SADAT played a key role in recruiting, organizing and transporting fighters to Azerbaijan for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia as well. (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3)


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In the interests of clarity and Frankness, this is basically Turkish Salafist terrorism franchise being used against the Arabs and Russia. However, the criminal Erdogan who is the boss of terrorists is himself not on very secure grounds with a country facing economic headwinds and global censure. It is shame that Putin empowered this criminal to spread his terrorism with a false notion that somehow a corrupt NATO puppet state can be turned into an “ally”. Turkey is the primary instigator of a renewed conflict in Ukraine and Caucasus. It is time to roast some Turkey before Thanksgiving and Christmas 2021.

Mustafa Mehmet

Yes frankly boy just roast the turkey.. 🖕

Servet-i Funun Literature

classic cheap talker-bullshitter nothing more.dont read his posts.


Reality vs Turkish Dreams is always an issue with Turkish guys. What kind of inferiority complex do you have, that reality is fiercly negated, even when it is as clear as glas? Why don’t you accept, that you are not in a position to play with the big guys, and you never had been nor will you never be?

Servet-i Funun Literature

Blah blah blah… noone, no sane Turkish guy claims/claiming to play with big guys.We dont have any power,resources etc to play with big guys.You spammed garbage.


See, you cannot even understand my writing. It all has to do with intelect, missing in all turks I know, and here proven by you as well.

Servet-i Funun Literature

Then elaborate your statement. You said:Why don’t you accept, that you are not in a position to play with the big guys, and you never had been nor will you never be?
ı replied explicitly:No we dont have any financial,military power to play with big guys which is a fact but if you are mentioning Syria which we have 911km border,excuse me we can play a little bit with your big guys when needed.


What about the part reality vs Turkish dreams? That was the part I referred to.
Regarding your border: youe were not able to contain the PKK over the last 50 yeqrs, and now you think you can do anything with the big guys? Open your ees and accept, that you belong to the losers, not the winners. By the way: waht is the exchange rate of your collapsed Lira nowadays? or do you use alternative currencies already like any other failed state?

Servet-i Funun Literature

Gotcha… you are right…xD.Pkk part is complicated(they were already pulverized in Turkey).ı would like to write in detail one by one but ı should stop here.Pointless to discuss with biased accounts.Believe what you want,its not my concern.


Turkey NATO member is not Russian “ally”.
If Turkey gets out of NATO than yes, that would be the possibility…
Russia just tries to find common ground with regional powers like Turkey and IsraHell for compromise (lasting peace) in Syria.
There are plenty of people like you who keep distorting the picture and deliberately exaggerating for different motives.

Servet-i Funun Literature

These dumbs turned sf to kindergarten with their copy-pastes.


I don’t know what to make out of his posts.
Shouting slogans and nice wishes has nothing to do with real-politics.
Russia can choose to ignore Turk or Israeli interests in Syria completely
But that would be the line of direct conflict, while the point is to chose some sort of realistic balance of power and interests on the ground in Syria today.
Where all sides must give up little bit of their expectations to make REALISTIC lasting compromise.

Servet-i Funun Literature

Classic resident troll..ı was never reading his dumb comments unless Mustafa or objective replies(objective deleted his account by the way).These people are sneaky double-faced snakes hiding under russians skirt in syria expecting Russians to battle with every single country then they will get the credit with their never-ending posts,unexplainable resistance might.He is not worth attention.


I tend to agree with you on that one.
They deliberately ignore scope and objectives of permanently LIMITED Russian presence in Syria
( with also limited objectives ).
Russia doesn’t have budget or ambition to fight every country or interest groups that can be pacified through diplomatic methods.
That is not welcomed by some whose ambitions are bigger than possibilities.
Russia is not fighting war in Syria against Sunni, or Turkey or Israel.
Objective is always the same.
Fighting Salafist terrorism that was started by US and Israel in the region.
Obviously Turkey tries to gain control (claim leadership) over them for Turk geo-political interests.
I think that situation about Salafist must be followed through to the final solution acceptable to everybody.


I do remember Erdogan sending some support to the US/krains do you have a link.


Not a new or unique practice. PMCs are used by US, SA, Russia, UAE, Iran and any country that has interest in certain region that has logistical challenges not to risk own troops. Plus plausible deniability.
Certain media groups can call them terrorists or jihadis or freedom fighters. Its like CNN where rebels in Syria are freedom fighter in Ukraine are separatist militia. Opposite from Russian media as well. So name calling doesn’t change much, at the end of the day they (“those paramilitary groups”) are Private Military Contractors.

Servet-i Funun Literature

Pity,ı wish we started earlier..What a shame.

cechas vodobenikov

impoverished ISIS cannon fodder
an old tradition

johnny rotten

By pure combination I wrote yesterday in a comment, the intertwining between neo-fascists, mafia men dedicated to the management of casinos and then to drug trafficking, political interests, building speculations, prostitution, trafficking in women and children [pedophile circles] , was at the basis of the policies, sufficiently, evidently of the whole Western world starting from the second post World War, naturally also the banking system and in particular the Vatican off-shore system was of the same game, all this ill-deal was hidden behind the shield of anti-Sovietism, a false excuse to corrupt every level of power.

The excellent murders of the Kennedys, of MLK and Malcom X, of Aldo Moro and many others, and of all the terrorism of the 70s, the network that housed all this rot, that is, that gave it coverage, also arose from these dangerous marriages and the judicial shield was none other than NATO.

In fact, in the same way as NATO, all these criminal groups had to adapt to the end of the excuse of the struggle against the USSR, so they quietly relocated themselves to the western imperialist plan, this time in the service of isisrahell, but with the new excuse ‘export of fake democracy and human rights through the promotion of terrorism, along the lines of death squads and cocaine trafficking in South America, then over time the accusations against Russia and recently against China have been reconstructed, thus showing that the game has always been fake.

The most notable thing about the post-false fight against communism is the total connivance of the mass media, now part of this multi-spectral organization that is not risky to compare with a parallel Western government, within which these adventurisms of which the Articles are not only accepted but even encouraged.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Mafia Don Erdogan.


A Sunni Islamist mercenary army, made up of various nationalities and ethnic groups – from Syrian to Urghur, run by Turkish state security, that is being transported from one conflict theater to another – Syria – Libya – Azerbaijan – Yemen. This is definition of international state sponsor of terrorism writ large. Turkey need to be sanctioned by UN General Assembly, bypassing any NATO objections, as (the) major regional state terror sponsor, currently creating and maintaining a destabilized region.

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