Pindostan’s Stooges Get Arrested in Turkey’s Post-Coup Purges
Eli Lake, Bloomberg, Jul 28 2016
Many of the Turkish officers that are the key counterparts for Pindosi so-called “counter-terrorism” efforts have been arrested or purged after a failed coup earlier this month. This is the frank assessment of both the CENTCOM chief Gen Votel, and DNI Clapper. Neither man sugar-coated their words Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum. Clapper said:
It’s affected all segments of the national security apparatus in Turkey. Many of our interlocutors have been purged or arrested. I think some of them are in jail. There is no question this is going to set back our cooperation with the Turks. I’m concerned about the longer term impact. Obviously, we are very dependent on Turkey for basing of our resources. I am concerned it will impact the level of cooperation and collaboration that we have with Turkey.
The Pindosi-Turkish relationship today is particularly important in the purported fight against Jihadis. Last year, Erdogan’s government allowed Pindosi training at Turkish bases, and Pindostan and its vassals to fly bombing runs into Syria out of the Incirlik air base. Incirlik is particularly important for Pindosi interests because many of the military’s drones, sensors and other intelligence and surveillance platforms used in the Middle East are based there. Over the last 18 months, Erdogan has also done much more to cooperate with Pindostan on the flow of foreign fighters into Syria through Turkish territory. Homeland Security Sec Johnson singled out the Turks for special praise on this front Wednesday evening at the Aspen forum. But since the coup, there has been tension. Erdogan has arrested the Turkish general in charge of Incirlik for his role in the aborted coup this month. Following the failed coup, the power for the base was cut. Full Pindosi operations there only restarted this week. Meanwhile, Pindostabn is still trying to restore its operations at the Diyarbakir base on the Syrian border, from which it runs personnel recovery missions. Some in the Turkish press have also accused Pindostan of playing a role in the coup, specifically saying that Gen (Retd) John Campbell helped to orchestrate it. Robert Amsterdam, an international lawyer who has been hired by the Turkish government, told me Thursday that he disagreed with the assessments of Votel and Clapper (about Pindo-friendly personnel all being sacked). He said:
Our information is that a lot of key folks remain.
James Jeffrey, a former Pindo ambassador to Turkey noe with WINEP, agreed with Amsterdam, saying:
I have not heard of significant purges of the Turkish intelligence agency or of the foreign ministry. The purges following the coup so far have not affected those at the highest levels of the Turkish military, most of whom were exonerated and are now back on the job. At such a delicate time in Pindo-Turkish relations we need to be very careful about what we say publicly about the relationship. After all, the senior military and civilian leadership in Turkey in many cases feel they were about to be killed in this coup.