They are five former Turkish Senior Officers, from Armed Forces, Air Forces and Navy, who served at SHAPE and NATO Headquarters in Belgium and who were purged after the attempted coup on 15 July last year.

All of them were in Belgium during the 15th July events. They did not return to Turkey, fearing bad-treatment, arrest and torture. Soft-spoken and weary when speaking about the struggles to adjust to their new lives, they are becoming immediately passionate when talking about the Turkish armed forces which they had served for and dedicated many years of their lives. “The Turkish Armed Forces was the most reliable institution in the country and it has had the best educated people”, they are saying, and the tone is instantly moving from nostalgic to prideful. But the tone is shifting again-to a down one- when they are talking about their brothers-in-arms – who are currently innocently and unlawfully purged, detained or jailed in Turkey. “We are doing this for them, and we are publicly talking for them” they are underlying.

This interview is based on an extensive, full of inquiries and recorded conversation with those five former Turkish Senior Officers.

Vocal Europe: How do you see the impact of the attempted coup on Turkish Armed Forces? Do you percieve a decline in Turkey’s defence capabilities due to ongoing purge in the military?

Many of the Turkish institutions – the police force, the legal institutions, they have always been politicized to a certain degree. But the Turkish Armed Forces, the one I have known for many years, has never been under direct political control, it had always been neutral; the promotions, the assignments were never been politicized – maybe at the top level were always politicized, but for the whole military that has never been the case. For example, I have never felt – for more than 20 years- that any kind of political influence played a role in military assignments after the purge. But now the Turkish Armed Forces is at great risk, as many changes occurred after the coup attempt. There is the big risk of politicization and this is clearly a significant long term risk that the Turkish military is facing.

The Turkish government, a couple of weeks after 15th of July, intervened in Syria just to show to the public that “we have a strong military” and to keep this narrative. The result was loss of lives of comrades and military equipment. Even the Operation Euphrates Shield was captured as a great success at pro-Erdogan media, with Erdoganist generals commanding the whole operation without a real understanding of strategic context and operational planning; it was a mess in the end.  Sadly, this massive purge will have long term implications for the Turkish military, as the gap in human resources cannot be fixed on short term. Can you imagine a NATO army waiting for orders where it does not have people with required experience in the command chain?

By purging such massive numbers of experienced military personnel, you only make the country’s defense really vulnerable. In the end, it’s all about numbers: since 15 July, thousands of military people from army, air force and navy were purged. Those were well educated, experienced military planners, pilots, sailors. As a clear snapshot almost 700 pilots were purged so far, if you include another 200-300 pilots who are not currently flying it makes as much as 1000 purged pilots. What is left… 200-300 pilots and it might be an exaggeration.

The quick-fix solution of the government was to provide exaggerated salaries to previously retired combat pilots, whom are called to replace the purged ones; but these people had retired 5-6 years ago and they lost their abilities and experience. Also, it is worth mentioning that those retired pilots were mostly the ones that lost their interest in military and also the ones that do not fit to health requirements to fly a combat aircraft. Just to remember that as a result of those massive purges, Turkish General Staff had to ask the US’ help for air support even in small size operations in Syria. This means extra burden on Allies.

Another side effect of this unprecedented massive purge is the current lack of trust against command chain in the Armed Forces as well. This is so clear at lower level ranks, as they always question now the personal agenda of the commander; basically, people are afraid to do even daily routines of military practice and just try to save their skin. Namely, the trust between people, the whole experience that Armed Forces had gained in times of crisis, these all are gone.

“To me, the Turkish Army is now like a body with some parts left and some parts chopped off –one may think that it is a living body but no, it is not alive, and it is simply like a dead man walking. After these purges, there are no “brothers in arms” in Turkish military, as nobody trusts anybody.”

There is a psychological aspect of the purges and it concerns the people’s reactions: they know the stories of their comrades called to the quarters and then taken by the police…Therefore, naturally, their reaction is not to do anything : if you don’t do anything, you can get yourself into trouble: some trouble, but not a lot of trouble; but  if you do something, you may get a lot of trouble –and this applies not only to army, but to a lot of institutions in Turkey right now.

Vocal Europe: It is heard that “beyond-door-discussions” about coup had taken place in many circles both in Turkey and abroad starting even from early 2016. Did you not hear anything in NATO’s circles about the coming attempt?

We never heard in advance about the coup attempt and that was never discussed in NATO circles and even among the Turkish officers serving at NATO Headquarters. Frankly, the coup was shocking for all of us, as we never expected it. Let me be clear on one issue: most Turkish officers share the opinion that in real democracies there is no place for a coup against an elected government.  We believe that each and every single coup that Turkey experienced since its foundation did nothing but drawing Turkey at least 10 years back in terms of its democratic achievements. Although we may not know all of the military personnel arrested or dismissed by the government, most of those arrested we know would have never thought of organizing a coup against the country’s political authority.

It should be said as well that there was a massive resentment among the public and the armed forces against President Erdogan due to the failing of the Kurdish peace process and particularly due to the developments that happened afterwards.  Lots of people have died, because of the mistakes committed by the government in handling the Kurdish issue. Those purged generals and offices had liberal visions to solve long-awaited Kurdish issue, they believed in democratic ways for solving this issue rather than using military might.

“I personally remember one of the jailed and tortured top brass begging Army Command to stop shelling Sur in Diyarbakir because of civilian losses. Sadly, pro-Erdogan generals commanded those operations in Diyarbakir and Sirnak.”

For us, it was very obvious that the politicians made enormous mistakes and it was the nation that paid a heavy price in loosing human lives. Nevertheless, even at that time, when we were so disappointed by President Erdogan’s hard practices, there was no such thinking among us that we should organize a coup against the government. This had never been an option!

Factually speaking and only by checking the overall number of purged generals and officers –more than 8000 people – it is certain that if all those people would have really organized the coup, the coup would have been successful.

“If the purged generals – almost half of the total number of Turkish generals – 160 out of 324 – would have been involved in the planning, command and execution of the coup, they would have succeeded.”

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that before the coup, there were some articles and posts on social media, through which pro-government people were calling for a coup where President Erdogan could get the full control of the Armed Forces. Furthermore, two weeks before the coup, some social media accounts that are now gone were referring to a coup in making. Some of these social media accounts were posting contents like “We will see all Turkish Armed Forces and Commander in Chief (Erdogan) praying on a Friday all together…We will see those days… Be ready for the change’’. It is very clear that the coup was not known to us but it was certainly known to President Erdogan’s close circles.

Vocal Europe: What would you tell us about the trials of suspects who are accused of the attempted coup in July last year? Many military suspects underline severe ill-treatment and the fact that their testimony were taken under torture. Why are the trials of the military personnel accused of staging the coup not broadcasted and international observers not allowed to monitoring the trial process?

The trials are not broadcasted and no international monitoring is allowed for a simple reason: President Erdogan does not want the realities of the 15 July to come up to the surface, and to be acknowledged by the public opinion. But this question – why the trials of the military personnel accused of staging the coup are not broadcasted and international observers are not allowed to monitor them? – should be put to the Turkish government by the EU representatives, by the Western countries’ officilas. Ultimately, these trials could be considered the biggest event in Turkey’s republican history: a coup attempted to change a democratic regime by overthrowing the government; so the logical consequence would have been to allow the media to broadcast the trials and the international observers to monitor them.

Also, aside the intimidating atmosphere outside the courtroom where people threw rope nooses and chanted slogans in favor of death penalty, once the generals and many senior officers began to talk, and said exactly what happened during the night of the coup, I can tell you that even the pro-government judges started to consider that what these guys were telling might be true. I think that even the staunch supporters of President Erdogan have started to have some doubts that challenge the official narrative of the government regarding the coup. Therefore, it is unimaginable to expect that the government could allow international observers to the trials and let the trials be broadcasted.  If the government would believe that only 1 percent of the broadcasting of the trials could be used for propaganda, all the TV stations would be allowed to broadcast them live.

Interesting to note here that there was a special protocol to give the city governors the power to request military support to police in case of public disorder. This specific protocol was canceled by Erdogan himself because it was not democratic. Interestingly this protocol was put into service again just one month before 15th of July. Based on my contacts with my former colleagues, I know that they were told to leave barracks because of a terrorist threat; they were given the impression that it was an exercise of this specific protocol, thus lots of units left the barracks that night.

In that sense, time also give you a personal story which also challenges the official narrative used by the government. In the night of the coup, while I was watching the news covering the coup attempt, I called a friend of mine, a Senior officer. I was trying to grasp what was happening. My friend said to me that he was told to participate to a military exercise for police support protocol and when he had been out there for the exercise, civilians who gathered there started to run against him. That was what he passed over me through a short phone conversation in the night of July 15. I have not heard from him since then. His wife has not so far found out what happened to him, too. Probably he was killed by Erdogan’s armed militia that night.

Another crucial challenge to the official narrative used by the government for the coup is represented by the recent testimonies of the suspected generals.

“Many of them stressed one key point, namely the fact that they were told that a huge scale terror attack was expected at Ankara and Istanbul military headquarters. The call requested them to mobilize their forces and come to the headquarters to deter the potential terror attack.”

Referring to the ill treatment and torture, if you look at the media and footages taken after the coup, there is already enough evidences for that. On the other hand, this is also difficult to prove, as there is almost impossible to go in the prisons and check how these people have been treated. But we have many sad, dramatic stories about fellows, friends who were tortured or suffered ill-treatments, and the words cannot encompass the tragedy they have been living.

Levent Türkkan, the chief aide to Turkey’s Chief of Staff, was tortured severely before his testimony was taken

Let’s take a well-known example, that of the Lieutenant – Colonel, Levent Türkkan, the chief aide to Turkey’s Chief of Staff, who had to face tremendous torture: his hands were broken, his head was slashed.

“So, it was obvious that he was forced to say, in his testimony, that he was a Gülenist and a coup plotter. More, during the trial, he declared that his initial testimony was taken under heavy torture. Indeed, the same applied to many others who were forced to sign pre-written testimonies.”

In fact, the post-coup period is also very interesting to trace some of the inconsistencies regarding the official narrative of the government. Examining how the authorities handled the post-coup period, what one can see is ongoing arrests and dismissals but not hard proofs on what really happened on 15 July. For instance, the Parliament’s Coup Investigation Commission neither investigated how people were killed nor where the bullets came from. Instead, the commission invited for hearings the relatives of those who lost their lives on July 15.  Very oddly, the key figures of the July 15 events, namely the chief of National Intelligence Organization, Hakan Fidan; the Chief of General Staff, Hulusi Akar; and the Commander of Turkish Special Forces, Zekai Aksakkali were not called to testify before the members of the parliamentary commission.

Vocal Europe: Do you think that NATO will take on responsibility to uncover how exactly the coup was conducted and by whom?

We do not think that NATO will directly and formally conduct an investigation on how and by whom the coup was organized. What NATO can do and has been doing so far is to assess what is the coup’s impact on NATO’s defense capabilities.

As a matter of fact, for NATO this is matter of a sovereign country. Individually, people from NATO understand our situation, the tragic situation of our fellows in Turkey…However, it seems that a NATO member, namely Turkey, does not value anymore the principles and the values on which the North Atlantic Alliance was established. Nevertheless, NATO could and should speak in the name of principles.  Hence, NATO can remind the Turkish authorities that, though it is a military alliance, it also promotes the democratic values.  In addition, NATO could also remind Turkey that the military personnel cannot be subject of torture or of any cruel or degrading treatment not even in the state of war or emergency.

We suffered big injustices and we often get emotional and say “NATO, and the EU should cut off the ties with Turkey”. But we also think that the logic, pragmatism and smart thinking should prevail and in this regard we believe that the channels of communications of the EU and NATO with Turkey must stay open and we have an illustrative example in this regard: in January, some EU representatives went to a prison in Turkey, and for a month, before their visit, our friends there had a better treatment. The lines of communications should stay open-cutting off the ties would only increase President Erdogan’s popularity – but, at the same time, the talks on principle must not stop.

Vocal Europe: The Turkish government dismissed and fired many members of Turkish armed forces who used to work at NATO Headquarters with the charges that they were members of Gülen Movement that is held responsible by President Erdogan for the attempted coup. Why do you think that is the reason of your purge?

Officer A: I think the main cause of my purge is the fact that I have extensive education with Western background.

Officer B: I think I was dismissed because I was known as someone who is not in line with President Erdogan’s mindset. We do not talk politics in the Armed Forces in general, but I told several friends that I did not agree with some aspects of the policies pursued by the government. This might be the reason. Also, as one of the narratives of the pro-government media was that NATO was behind the coup, my position at NATO might be a reason in itself, too. Finally, I have also a degree obtained in the US and another strong narrative was that US is behind the coup.

Officer C: I have also extensive education in the Western countries and the United States and I also told friends, on several occasions, that I do not favor for President Erdogan’s policies.

Officer D:  I think I was purged because I am liberal and Wstern-minded. But the main reason is, I think, that I am totally against Erdoganist mindset. This was enough reasoning for Erdoganists from the Turkish Armed Forces to purge me out.

Officer E: While purging such huge numbers of military, the government needed a mechanism, so they invented 16 criteria, to create the pool of purged officers. To this date, I was never informed why I was purged, and the legal frame is still missing.

NOTE:. Allegedly, one of the 16 criteria on the basis of which many military personnel were purged was if they had (a) first- or second- degree relatives who had bank account(s) at Bank Asya, a major Turkish bank that was linked to Gülen Movement and was closed by the government.

Officer A: Accusing someone as a Gülenist is a useful sticker for President Erdogan to purge anyone he wants. Some people were forced to point someone as a Gülenist without any foundation. Therefore, many were purged based on the espionage that the officers were forced to do.

Officer C: if you are liberal, if you are Western minded, and/or you do not support President Erdogan, you are definitely on the list. There is no escape.

Vocal Europe: Can you give us a sense of different groups in Turkish Armed Forces? What kind of social, political, and religious groups are represented in Turkish military and their impact on the coup? Do you think that there are so many hidden Gülenists in Turkish Armed Forces? If yes, why do these people need to hide themselves?

Officer A:  When the Turkish nation was founded by Ataturk, a special role was given to the Army. Military service is obligatory in Turkey where you can see all segments of the nation behind the barracks. But at the same time, through military service, people were educated in a more Western way, as the Army was a vehicle of Westernization of Turkey. However, in Turkish military we always try to educate them in a western way. During my entire career, I have always come across all the patterns of Turkish nation in the military. People coming from rural areas, from cities, some being educated, some from middle-class families…we can definitely say that Turkey’s Army has always been a snapshot of Turkish nation.  If there are leftists in the society, then there are definitely leftists in the Army as well.  If you have rightists or Islamists in the society, you have them in the army, too.

However, despite all the democratic achievements since the establishment of the republic it is still a matter of concern for military personnel to reveal who they really are. They are still afraid of telling about “real themselves”, due to official lines, which military personnel have to be in line with.

As a commander, I have always respected the officers under my command. But we have to know whether officers act within the chain of command or they have different motivations for their actions. We have to know about that. What I wish to emphasize is that we have always been monitored in Turkish Army, particularly the officers, the senior officers and staff officers.

“I can tell that Army knows me better than I know myself. It has been impossible to hide a different source of motivation or affiliation in Turkish military.”

In that respect, I would like to refer to a very key change by the governing party regarding your question. There were mechanisms until 2005 to find out any “unfit” and take them out of the system, out of the Armed Forces. I am not arguing whether this was democratic or not but that was what it was back then. Interestingly, it was Erdogan who stopped this process in early 2007.

The purged Turkish military personnel who used to work at NATO Headquarter in Brussels

In armed forces, no one would tell you: “I am a leftist, an Islamist, a Gülenist” or other affiliation. But you have friends and you know their families, you know how they live… Hence, I do not think that the ratio of Gülenists in the armed forces is as large as the government argues. If this is true, the coup would have been a successful one. It is nonsense to say:  “this percentage of military personnel is Gülenist”.

Officer B: Many representative of the government have shared various numbers like 20, 30, 40, and even 60 percent to identify the number of Gülenists in the armed forces. Where did they get these numbers from? How did they calculate these numbers?

“If there were so many Gülenists in the armed forces, why then they did not take any measure before the coup? I think that these figures were presented in order to rationalize, and justify the purges.”

Contrary to that, the Chief of Staff said that 1,5 percent of Turkish armed forces engaged in the coup, where majority of them were conscript soldiers. There is a big discrepancy between what is and what really happened.

Officer C: I am very doubtful about all this kind of categorization. Firstly, what is a Gülenist? There is not an identifiable variable in this regard.

“What is a Gülenist and how do you define a Gülenist are very problematic issues to deal with. Is President Erdogan’s son in law a Gülenist? Although he graduated from a Gülenist school, he is now one of the merciless enemies of Gülenists. Or, is the President a Gülenist?  He is someone who had previously breakfast with Gülen.”

Hence, this kind of categorization does not stand. For instance, over the last 4-5 years, the young cadets in the Military Academy were motivated to learn Chinese and Russian with the aim to have strategic insight capable officers. Can these people, who learned Chinese and Russian, be categorized as pro-Chinese or pro-Russian? Hence, this kind of categorization like Gülenist or pro-Russian is in my opinion, non-scientific: it does not have logic and does not make sense. The Army has had one type of officer: devoted to the nation and to the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Officer D: Nobody can tell you the numbers of the followers of any fractions in Armed Forces. There is no classification like that. Specifically, if there are followers of Gülen in Armed Forces, in my opinion, they would be in lower rankings, since President Erdogan himself intervened in the process in 2007. In that regard, I do not think that there are Gülenists among the Turkish senior officers or generals.

Officer E: Just to support what have been said before, I would like to say that Turkish Armed Forces has been always the best team of the republic and has always been secular. Naming a group in a secular armed forces as being members of any clique or Gülenists has been so horrible for the secularist officers.

Vocal Europe: Will Turkish Army recover from the trauma of the coup? Is it falling under full control of President Erdogan and the AK Party? If yes, what will be the consequences?

We do not see any effort to bring Turkish military out of the trauma of the coup. Right after 15 July, we have seen crucial changes within the conduct of commanders-in-chief of armed forces who represent Turkish military. Now, we have a Chief of Staff frequently worshiping in the mosque right next to President Erdogan. This has never ever been the case in Turkish armed forces before. More importantly, this has become kind of a habit for the Chief of Staff, as he often takes the floor and holds political speeches, and even attends to political rallies with President Erdogan in favor of the governing party.

Another crucial development is that all those AK Party linked Islamists who were isolated from military many years ago are now being re-nominated to critical positions in the Army. Many of these people are now in charge of selection committees of armed forces where newcomers are asked about whether they pray five times a day and they are even asked the prayer. More importantly, if you have a recommendation letter from any AKP’s official, you get the job without being checked whether you fit to the description of the vacancy. This will certainly have a tremendous negative impact on the Army. And if the current setting will continue, we think that

“NATO will have, in two or four years, a member Army full of extremists and Salafists.”

If anyone thinks that a pro-Erdogan Salafist would fight-, under the Article 5 that sets up the principle of collective defense and which is the core of the Treaty, let’s say, along with Poland or any Baltic nation against a state competitor which is a threat to NATO, he or she is deeply mistaken. The Erdoganists would rather say “Why a Muslim should defend a land of infidels against another land of infidels?”.  They will question NATO’s integrity. In this regard, it is also important to remember that Turkish NATO posts are now being filled with such Erdoganists officers and generals or ultranationalist ones.

One of the consequences of the fact that Turkish Army is now under full control of President Erdogan is that Turkish armed forces are divided between Erdoganists and pro-Russians. Imagine that NATO is to conduct an operation in Syria against extremists and Turkey is to be a part of the conduct.

One the one side, the Salafists from Turkish Army can weaken NATO operations against ISIL in Syria and on the other hand you have pro-Russian officers, under the influence of Dogu Perincek in Turkish military, who will not be OK with any NATO operation in Syria where Russia is heavily present. How these people will react when NATO will share intelligence with Turkey?

More importantly, there are still some key posts in the armed forces and Erdogan wants those positions to be occupied by his supporters, especially the positions of senior Officers; whereas Perincek wants those posts for his pro-Russian network in the army. That being said, some already argue that the two groups will clash sooner or later as one of them will contend for the whole power. However, so far they have been coordinating very well.

Last but not least, it should be mentioned that the Turkish Army was a sustainable link of Turkey’s relation with the EU and with the West in general.

“What we are witnessing now is a new generation which is raising within the Army, and which has Islamist views.”

Furthermore, because of the geography, its proximity to Europe, the ties between Turkey and Europe, the latter cannot afford to overlook the fact that, because of the purges, Turkey’s bureaucratic elite is gone. Instability has always been in Turkey, but people who could handle it were there as well. And, at this moment, there is no Turkish bureaucracy which can handle any further instability.

Vocal Europe: Is it likely that Turkish military will pursue a more Eurasian agenda? Which challenges – for Turkey, and for the region – will trigger that?         

One thing is clear: the military is under the full control of President Erdogan, who is an opportunist. One day he may favor for Russia, then the other day you might see him handshaking with Trump and on another day he may favor for Iran.

You could find many evidences supporting that President Erdogan is a pure opportunist, who shifts easily his alliances, by looking at how he behaved during the jet crisis with Moscow. Although it was the former Prime Minister Davutoglu who said that he had given the order, President Erdogan stated that he was the one who had commanded the action against Russian jet.

“However, once the Russians started to play hard power politics against the Turkish government, President Erdogan stated that it was a Gülenist pilot who downed the jet in order to destabilize Turkish-Russian strategic relations.”

As the Army is under the control of President Erdogan, and as he is an opportunist, the Turkish military can pursue an Eurasian agenda or another agenda based on President Erdogan’s ambitions. And a NATO member cannot act in an unpredictable way.

Furthermore, it has never been in Turkey such an anti-Western attitude as there is nowadays: when you watch television, when you read the newspapers, there is such animosity against the West… and this Western-targeted animosity is influencing not only the people in Turkey, but it is poisoning the Turkish diaspora in Europe. In a way, this anti-Western attitude might become a matter of security for some European countries which have large communities of Turkish people.

On the other hand, Russia is certainly taking advantage of the current situation in Turkey, as Moscow is looking forward to Ankara to stand with itself against NATO. Furthermore, Turkey is close to seal the deal of purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia. This is truly unbelievable for a member of NATO. This will definitely harm not only the unity of NATO but NATO’s defense capability as well. When NATO reacted to this purchase, Turkey tried to reassure its NATO partners that it will not use these missiles for any NATO operations but it will rather use them for its internal security threats.

“What can be underlined is that Russia has now leverage via Turkey over NATO’s top decisions.”

Vocal Europe: How do you see the Trump administration’s decision to supply heavy weapons to the Syrian Kurdish Units (PYD), so that they can participate in the battle of Raqqa? How will this influence Turkey-NATO relations?

It is mostly a US-Turkey issue rather than a NATO-Turkey issue because it is a decision of the American administration, not a decision of NATO. What is surprising is the fact that President Erdogan’s criticism against this decision of Trump administration to supply PYD with heavy weapons was very moderate. Had it been the Obama Administration, President Erdogan’s reaction would have been different.

But YPG is part of Turkey’s Kurdish issue as well. Many of the purged generals and officers whom we know – and whom are currently arrested or dismissed – have very liberal ideas; they are supportive of the approach in taking new steps for a viable solution of the Kurdish issue. They tried to stop pro-Erdogan generals from conducting operations that targeted innocent people, women and children in the South East of Turkey. When seeing so many areas, villages and cities destroyed by artilleries… this was just heartbreaking. All these places ruined just because their residents were Kurds. The remaining generals and top brass are hardliners with regard to the Kurdish issue. Hence, President Erdogan did purge not only the officers who wanted to solve the Kurdish issue in a peaceful way, but he also kills the idea of solving the Kurdish issue in a democratic way.

26 Responses

  1. orhan

    These officers are telling what the European establishment wants to hear. They are a disgrace to the Turkish Armed Forces, because :

    1.) They are participants and/or supporters of a military coup against a democratically elected government. You like it or not, AKP is elected democratically, and NATO has no place for putchists among its ranks, and the EU should think twice before granting assylum to coup plotters.
    2.) They enjoyed the benefits of previous purges in the military when secular/Kemalists officers were sidelined and arrested during the 2007-2016 period with sham trials (Sledgehammer and Ergenkon), and they jumped to the opportunity to fill those positions with grinning faces. Those secular officers which were on NATO duty during those days, did not hesitate to return home as soon as they were called to be arrested unlike these cowards.

  2. F99

    I do think that everybody should go ahead in a language that is understood by everybody here – so that would be English. I will not go ahead in German neither.
    Second: whatever the person above me wrote, it should be translated – for security reasons

    1. Asylum: It is the very first time in all my life that I am proud of my passport. Germany is doing a great job while it keeps its position and stands to its constitution. It is a really funny idea to think that a man such as Erdogan has a say in it … did the Turks really think we would expell those officers who sought asylum in G?? He did not really think that, or? If yes, that would be much more fun and inevitably lead to the question: Has that individual finished his studies or not? How can somebody who lives in the 21th century think that questions like asylum or not are discussed on a floor, and that the cancellor has a say in it? Germany is a fully devellopped country with all its institutions – also with those who decide about the asylum seekers – how can a head of state think that a cancellor can decide it? And bother her on an official meeting??
    Of course, they will not be sent back to Turkey, a war would even be more acceptable than sending them back, and we should get used to the idea that we are not that far from it. So, we should do everything possible to block Turkey wherever we can. You see what happened in Germay when Erdogan sent his men to hold their speeches in favor of him – in our cities and townhalls?? They were blocked and not allowed to hold their hate speeches against Christians and Europeans, and that happened on a very local basis, even without the government – it was organized by ordinary citizens – supported by the government, yes, but inofficially.

    2. There was an article on Turkish officers in NATO in the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” a few days ago. The authors mentioned the fact that a lot of Turkish officers had been replaced after the coup
    and that nobody at NATO trusts the new ones, so that confidential information are only passed on to nations you trust, not any more to Turkish stuff. They fear an islamised army, and what was said in your article about t Akar confirms the picture.

    3. What happens if it does not work at all?? I mean if the whole thing goes wrong ? If the war against the West will be lost, if Russia is not such a nice alley as Turkey thinks, if a way is found to exclude Turkey from NATO, as some politicians – mostly Germans – already want??

  3. Peter Ehrenfeld

    Turkey should not be in NATO – it should be cut off from all relevant information

  4. ladyundercover

    I do agree with you. Maybe somebody should pass the interview on to more international and more
    known newspapers and newsmagazines. I do think that Turkey is not only because of Russia becoming a security risk, but we should also see and recognize its “extension” into muslim states in Africa, into the Balcans (Bosnia Hercegowina, Albania, Kosovo … does that ring a bell for you??
    Somalia (the air base) — do they want to conquer (oh, to unite, of course, North Africa with Turkey or what kind of “stategy” is behind it all? Unification of Arabs and Turks ?? United attempt to conquer Europe?? And, I mean, if they can buy weapons all over the planet because they are in NATO??

  5. Adnan

    I may have not cast a single vote for Erdogan in my life, however, if some other country attempts to topple an elected president, I would stand against it. I would expect the same from you, the proud German citizen, if you really are the man you claim to be. As for those traitors, their words are not even worth commenting upon. They are liars, they are traitors, charakterlos people.

  6. F99


    that is a really good idea. Personally, I do think it is funny to see Erdogan and other
    right wing people in Turkey trying to establish some strange kind of relationship to Germany,
    but nobody over there wants Turks. It is also good that those officers who got sacked from NATO will not be expelled, of course not, and definitely not by Germans, that is for sure. Just ask me, I am German, and what I am reading in the German news is all but in favour of Turkey, the Nazi like regime over there nor is it in favour of that ugly man that has not even finished his studies at university and that would have never got a job in Europe or in the West.
    And, just to mention it right now
    We will not accept those fat Turks who assailed people in Washington a few weeks ago.
    It is stupid and funny at the same time that RTE thinks he can bring that kind of people to Hamburg as well. The German police said itself that is is prepared and will not tolerate that kind of people in Hamburg, they said literally that Turkish agressors will be eliminated, those the US
    justice is looking for will be handed over to the US as soon as they enter German soil. That is for the whole Turkish Nazi scene … we do not want you in the West, and there is no relation between us. We want to get rid of you, and we will, even if lovely Adnan is trying to write a few
    words in German to pretend an agreement between Germans and Turks that there is not; Germany is first a Christian and second a democratic liberal state, therefore it is clear that we have our sympathies for “charakterlose Leute”, sweetie, of course we have: I am saying that we have a weakness for “people without personality, character”, and that we prefer those who think in democratic, western and liberal terms instead of those who think in terms of character, blood, genes… Therefore Turkey has a bad reputation, as well as that primitive people in power there.
    To put it short
    They will stay in Germany as well as in Belgium, the US, the Netherlands and Norway and Switzerland. Our anchestors had a hard time as well when they had to migrate to the US and London in the Thierties

    • Adnan

      You have misunderstood, mein Liebling, I did not write nor mean anything in that sense. By the way, I don’t even want the EU. If the day ever comes to vote in a referendum about EU accession, I swear I will vote NO.
      If you like charakterlose Leute, just go ahead, it is fine with me. Being charakterlos means being charakterlos, not democratic, not modern, not European. Enjoy it! Just don’t preach us about how very democratic and respectful your country is. Otherwise you will be asked to explain what happened to Baader und Meinhof. And, you are the last ones to talk about “genes”, because we know you talked (and acted) a lot on that back in 1940s. You

      • F-99

        Ca marche tres bizarre, mais… I never ever preach because I am not wise enough, sweetie, lovely, honey, so I better leave it to brilliant Turks, don t you think so?
        Don t worry, that day will never come because nobody will ever ask Turkey to join the European Union – which is of course Western and Christian, strange that Turks do not get that. Democratic? I do think so. Genes?? Yes, I do think that I have a right to talk about it, and everybody can hear (read) it.
        It was Erdogan himself who preached about the “cleaniness of the Turks” and “their blood”and who mentioned the word “genes” almost a year ago ( I think it
        was May 2016, before the coup), when the German Parliament (GP) decided to
        pass a law according to which the genocide on the Armenians should be called
        “genocide” and nothing else – so, that is what students will learn and what will be thaught at our schools and universities. La France est, comme toujours, deja plus avancee comme nous. Unfortunately, you are right – Germany is somewhat slow and old- fashioned – that should have happened earlier. Anyway, to come back on the genes – that decision on the Armenian Genocide was also made with the help
        of Germans with a Turkish background (Oezdemir and others from the left); and immediately after they had finally come to that decision,
        Anyway, after the decision had been taken and was broadcasted all over the West – Erdogan (nobody had ever put much attention on that kind of people) came up with a very Turkish idea: those members of the German parliament who have a Turkish background should undergo a bloodtest- their blood should be checked to find out whether they were ” clean” Turks and whether their blood was clean or not. Not my words, excuse me to quote that failed student. I am definetely not that way, I am a very convinced Westener and Christian, but I had to quote Erdogan s speech – or parts of it. So much about genes. Not back in the 40s, sweetie, lovely,
        but now. Well, Germans take it from the funny side and crack a lot of jokes on Turks. I am just glad that all those things happen right now and not in 20 years –
        your strategy did not work out, the West ist much more vivid and active. I will probably end up as an ardent supporter of the German secret service. Germany does a lot against Erdogan and Turkey, so, Erdogan s first mistake was to consider us as friends – the center of Europe, and Vienna as its gates. That went perfectly wrong because people do not like Nazis – it is logical that they then do not want Turks, of course not. The newspapers are full of articles who describe the fate of political refugees from Turkey (sure they get asylum), and other people from Turkey who got stranded somewhere in Europe, and of course we support them as much as we can.

      • F-99

        I am just very happy to let you know that at least the European Parlament decided
        to end the accession talks – a few minutes ago. Do we really need Turkey in NATO?
        Or is it the old way of thinking, when Russia was seen as an enemy?
        Or is it becoming a danger? See what is going on in Kosovo and Bosnia.
        If I hurry back to the German newspapers, there are a few who put that question
        whether we need Turkey in NATO or not. And if not, how to…get

      • F-99

        it does not work, neither in Syria nor in Europe – it seems that somebody or something thwartens Erdogan s (and Turks) plans to establish their “Islamic Empire”-
        (based on all those far-right turkish ideologies – hm, similar to the nazis, don t you think so, lovely??, and your islamofaschistic religion) Your short sighted one-star
        Tanriverdi is not such a brilliant strategic thinker as he thinks he is – even I am much better, and that means a lot (google TANRIVERDI and SADAT ); It seems much more that the West is waking up, and that coup attempt has the same effect as an wake-up call- funny to say, but you can read the same headlines concerning Erdogan and Turkey all over the West – it is as if the events in Turkey helped to create a united West – that would be real fun.
        It has not worked out yet??? No global islamic empire under Turkey s rule?? No ottoman empire? No link yet between Riad and Sarajevo? Trying to get rid of Austrians in NATO did not really work out, sorry. I am sure they know what is going on in the Balkans, do not put tooooo much hope on Bosnia and Sarajevo, and what concerns Austrians — they stay there, most of it can be done bilaterial, honey, sweetie,lovely. Genes?? Race?? Blood?? Not really the Germans, or, at least, not any more. Good that you are soo critical. Rejected? Do not want Turks?
        Poor Erdogan, poor right wings poor grey wolves (a turkish nazi group who tells us a lot about “blood and honour” and so on, they attack Alevites in Germany, they attack Leftists, the Greens, and everybody who is not as they are – in a word, who are intelligent). But trying to tell me about German nazis – yes, there are some, but not so many. That Germans do not want Turks – that is something that
        you will find in all social classes, in all political parties… I do not know why, I can only guess. But in the 40s – that was really something different – it is comparable to what is going on in Turkey. In the 30s and 40s- for reasons I do not step into right now – Germany lost its intellectual, financial and scientific ELITE – who consisted mostly of German Jews , and it did not recover from that loss, never ever did it really recover – till today not. I do underline: This was the elite-
        not comparable to the position of Turks in the modern German society. The liberal democratic minority Germany had (it was a minority that was liberal, belive me) managed to escape to the US, Great Britain and other counties that offered them asylum, therefore they survived, among them my family that escaped to London.
        So, short introduction to German History of the 20 th century. Comparable to what is going on in Turkey – be sure, even me, even if I really hate the military I do think that we should offer them asylum and help them to survive here – Erdogan should have had more lessons in modern strategic warfare – complete miscalculation of western behavior and life.You will not have to vote – nobody will ask Turkey to join the West. The question is whether you can stay in NATO. I do think that there are other options and other concepts to ensure the defence of Europe – but think in the meantime of Incirlik – we left because we distrust the Turks, it is much more than not to like somebody.Our fault, I know. We should be in love with that outgoing, lovely, pretty, liberal, advanced, brilliant people called the Turks – unfortunately, nobody is and that is not only to blame on me.
        Last and really funny message that I have got to read today/

      • Rattlesnake

        I do not think that you will ever have the vote .The question is much more what we can do against Turkey in NATO, and it is also true that many mainly German but also British and American newspapers write against Turkey in NATO they do not even discuss the EU accession, it is just about staying in NATO. What happens in Germany yes that is indeed fascinating THey fight Turkey and ERdogan. Just read their NeWS papers

      • F-99

        Sweetie, lovely. nobody wants you in Europe, so you do not even have to vote in
        favor or against something. I do not preach, sweetie, I leave that to people who did not even finish their studies – such as Erdogan – so he has got something to do and will not be overworked. What concerns the genes – Erdogan mentioned them, not me; well, and if you are pointing at a certain time of our national history – guess why we have so many Turks in Germany. They like people such as a certain person that I do not want to mention here. That might be due to the very low intellectual level of those people or to their low social position in Europe, not only in Germany but all over Europe. So, if you are looking for the far right in Germany – yes, we have that, a few Nazis, but most of that group consists of Turks.
        Their social status is unclear and a lot of them do not even have the residence –
        that means by the day they have to leave we will have less right wing people than
        now. We need brilliant and intelligent people and we should try finding them,
        not that kind of fat little anatolian bellies – then better characterless people.
        According to what I read in the Swiss and German medias, those people who are mentioned in the article above are really wanted by the MIT – that is according to
        the “Tagesschau”, “Standard”, “Kurier” – “Gazette de Geneve” “Le Soir” and the BBC – I have not checked the Spaniards so far, still have to cover Italy and Portugal. It is logical that they get asylum in a christian and western country- we love intelligent people and do not care about your genes and your character as long as people do their jobs and as long as they are friendly.

      • Adnan

        Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose … This is a typical example of “mouth diarrhea”, or maybe “keyboard diarrhea”.
        Will you please go find yourself a girlfriend or some path to socialize? I truly feel sorry for you.
        By the way, wake up: you are not leaving Incirlik “because you don’t trust Turks”, it is merely “because we kicked you out”.

  7. F-99

    Message a few days ago in the German “Tagesschau”:

    Tuerkei befiehlt im Ausland Spionage

    According to the news, the Turk general stuff ordered its soldiers who are serving in the West/Europe to spy on those colleagues who had asked for asylum in european countries. They should
    find out about their current job situation, their contacts to the locals, their contacts with the medias …
    nice to have that kind of soldiers around, lovely, sweety, honey. I am sure everybody feels well defended (from whatever) by soldiers who are ordered to spy on their ex- colleagues. I am sure we can rely on them and they do a great job – sorry for being sarcastic, lovely, hooooooooooooney, cooooooooooockery
    see also/ / same story, 4.7.
    Berliner Zeitung 4.7. SAME STORY
    ZEIT/ 4.7.
    See also BBC- The officers who cannot go home to Turkey – here in Brussels
    should get asylum

  8. Ladyundercover

    I think they left Incirlik because the Turkish government tried to blackmail them – their
    deputies should not be allowed to visit their troops in Incirlik unless those soldiers who had
    asked for asylum In Germany were handed over to Turkey. It was therefore that the German government decided do leave. You are right, but do not talk about all those things 🙂

    falas portugues sei o O MIT esta nao muito longe esta percebes

    • Adnan

      At last a mentally healthy comment, reasonable voice. Many thanks.

  9. ladyundercover

    When I was to Turkey – that is years ago and I will never go there again – we- me and my family-
    were often taken for Germans because we all are tall, blond and have green or blue eyes. And what was really chocante – how many people said (sorry) Heil Hitler to us because they took us for Germans – that was not even provocative- we got the strong impression that Turks were in love with
    that individual, so I do understand F-99, and in all his/her exaggeration, there is some truth.
    There was a report on the Danish TV as well -about the far right movements in Turkey and in Germany – due to the fact that there are many Turks in G. So, the German police and its secret service are both right to keep an eye on Turkish communities. I do not think that the story about genes and “race” is exclusively linked to Germans. Maybe we should find out more about racism in muslim communities. So, even if I do not agree up to 100 percent with F-99 (it looks like a soaring albatross, that modell), I think that there is some truth in what she/he is saying.
    nao tudo, mais percebo o

  10. Rattlesnake

    Who is Andnan to comment on other people s state of mind?
    He does not even have to vote – Turkey will not be allowed to join the EU
    and it should not be in NATO.

  11. Ladyundercover

    I do not think so – it was in 2002 when we went to Turkey. Oddities between Germany and Turkey? I do think that there are a lot of oddities among Turkey and western countries, but not only
    western countries – just think of India, China, Irak
    I do not think so – Erdogan himself mentioned Hitler as an idol, so it is probably not only him –
    but there are more who see it the same way.
    The Turkish military is probably your background – idealizing Ataturk – there was no one else, but anyway.
    What about being patriotic? Do you mean patriotic or national? I am not shure. yes, I have my concerns because as soon as I think about Turkish patriots I do think of Armenia, the Kurds and so on.. the Greek. To me, to be honest, it seems that the whole country is made up of ultra-nationalists and islamists. It is already being considered as an enemy in public, and there is one truth about it all – it will not join the EU, so your presumed vote is really obsolete. Be sure, I am up to date with all the discussions on the topic, and I repeat it – you will never be allowed to join the EU – never mind what I am as a private person think about it all.

  12. Julia

    Well, there is at least Erdogan – that is at least one Hitler-Fan, there are probably more.
    I think that Turkey is more and more seen as what it is – an enemy, and it should not be in NATO.
    It will not join the EU, I am sure. I am sure that Ataturk was very patriotic as well ( by the way, in which way was he involved in the “events” in Armenia)?
    We have to work on a new defence concept. And – that is true – those who were ousted by Erdogan and lost their jobs at NATO or in which military/civilian istitution ever – that does not make them to “friends” or at least ” alleys” of democracy, liberalism and – all in all – the West.

    Si vis pacem para bellum

    • ladyundercover

      It is strange to my ears – I know people from all over the world (China, India, European countries,
      a lot of Germans, a lot of latinamericans and of course many north americans) and no one ever mentioned being discriminized for whatever – only Turks do that. That is probably we do not concede them the social status they would like to have in Europe. Well, as my German friends put it – and they are still very polite – not everybody is made for grammar school. Belgium should think it twice and even trice if they grant asylum to that kind of right wing people – even if they describe themselves as liberal.


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