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From the eyes of journalists




While the Obama Administration and the CIA officially cling to the fig leaf lie that US intelligence was innocent of any involvement in the failed July 15 coup d’ etat attempt by the CIA-run Fethullah Gülen organization in Turkey, the truth is coming out from senior US intelligence insiders themselves. It reflects a huge internal faction struggle within US leading circles in what by all accounts is shaping to be the most bizarre Presidential election year in American history.

The first admission that US intelligence had their hand in the anti-Erdogan coup, a coup launched just days after Erdogan announced a major strategic shift away from NATO and towards Russia, came from Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski is one of the most senior members of the US intelligence establishment, a former Obama Presidential adviser and former National Security Council architect of the Jimmy Carter 1979 Mujahideen Afghanistan terror operations against the Soviet forces in that country.

In a Twitter tweet from his own blog, Brzezinski wrote a precis of a new article he wrote for The American Interest magazine. He writes, “The US backing of the attempted coup against the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a grave mistake that could deliver a major blow to the US reputation.” That’s definitely putting it mildly given what’s unfolding in Turkey since July 15.

Brzezinski went on to write, “Turkey was on the verge of reconsidering its foreign policy after failure in the Syria during the last five years, and the US miscalculation in supporting the coup and hosting its leader (Fethullah Gülen, now in CIA-arranged exile in Pennsylvania-w.e.) was so serious that it is no longer possible to put the blame on once-US-ally Turkey if it turns its back on US and rethink (sic) its policies.” He continues, “A potential Russia-Turkey-Iran coalition would create an opportunity to solve the Syrian crisis. If Erdogan had the smallest bit of wisdom, he should have come to the understanding that he could not make an independent credibility with the help of some ‘decayed’ Arab countries,” no doubt referring to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the prime financiers of the Syrian terror war against Assad since 2011.

Brzezinski, who together with Henry Kissinger was one of the foremost US foreign policy strategists of the postwar period, the founding Executive Director of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, and one who still today presumably retains Top Secret clearance access to US intelligence reports, was expressing his fury at the utter incompetence of US intelligence in managing the Turkey relationship. Notably, the person in the US State Department directly responsible for not only the disastrous US coup in February, 2014 in Ukraine, but also for Turkey, is the hapless neo-con perpetual warrior-ess, Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland, wife of neo-con Robert Kagan.

Brzezinski’s candid critique was followed up by an even more detailed expose of US intelligence ties to Fethullah Gülen, charged by the Turkish government with treason and backing the July 15 coup. In a guest article in the EU online mgazine dated 17 August, 2016, Arthur H. Hughes confirms the intimate links between Gülen and the CIA, noting that “Gülen fled to the US with the assistance of the diplomat Morton Abramovitz, CIA agents Graham Fuller and George Fidas, and the above-mentioned Fr. Alexander Karloutsos.”

Gülen CIA friend Bartholomew I

Hughes’ article is a bombshell in many respects, and most definitely in his detailing of the intimate ties between the CIA, Gülen and the current Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, current Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch. Hughes described the above-mentioned Father Alexander Karloutsos:

“…one of the members of the American-Israeli lobby in the Constantinople Patriarchate is Father Alexander Karloutsos, Public Affairs Officer close to Archbishop Demetrios (of America-w.e.). Thanks to his ties with high-level officials and Greek-American billionaires, he is basically the only person who controls the money flows from the US to the Phanar (the Greek Orthodox part of Istanbul-w.e.), and that gives him wide possibilities of exerting pressure upon the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On the other hand, Karloutsos is also in good relations with former CIA Director George Tenet, and with the preacher Fethullah Gülen cooperating with the American intelligence.”

George Tenet, a close ally of the Clinton political machine is a Greek-American former head of CIA during the time of Bill Clinton and also George W. Bush. The Clintons are both on record praising Fethullah Gülen. It seems to be a cozy network of CIA-Gülen-Constantinople Patriarchate-Clintons, all financed with “money from Greek-American billionaires.”

Arthur H. Hughes is not a casual commentator on events in Turkey and the Middle East. He was US Ambassador to Yemen in the 1990’s during the Clinton Presidency, then Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asia, and was Deputy Chief of Mission in Tel Aviv. His linking of Gülen to the CIA and to the Constantinople Patriarchate points to one of the least-public and most influential covert CIA-run networks in the world, the anti-Moscow Orthodox Patriarchate of Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople. Hughes suggests that if Erdogan and the Turkish government are serious about dealing with future coup threats, they should put the Constintanople Patriarchate under the magnifying glass.

As I’ve documented in my book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the gods would destroy, Graham E. Fuller and George Fidas, both decades-long senior CIA officials managed to secure an extraordinary permanent residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, over the loud formal objections of the US State Department, in 1999, when Gülen was about to be charged by the Turkish authorities for inciting treason.

Most recently, Fuller felt compelled to write on his blog that, indeed he did help Gülen obtain a US green card, but that no, Gülen was not behind the failed July 15 coup. However Turkish reports place Fuller and another senior CIA ally, Henri J. Barkey, at a luxury hotel on one of the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara, some twenty minutes from Istanbul the night of the failed coup. In a subsequent appearance at a Washington think tank forum held by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neo-con address whose chairman is former CIA director, neo-con James Woolsey III, Barkey and his host tried to make a feeble joke about his presence in Istanbul the night of the coup and his ties to Gülen.

For once, Brzezinski is right.

The CIA-Gülen coup d’etat attempt to topple Erdogan after his turn towards rapprochement with Moscow was “a grave mistake.” The consequences, aside from a massive crackkdown on Gülen networks and media inside Turkey, include an open dialogue of Erdogan and the Turkish government of Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m with Russia and now with Iran, about a “solution” to the Syrian war that would include Bashar al-Assad as at least a transition figure.

The Erdogan pivot East since the failed CIA coup has forced the Pentagon to quietly remove its nuclear warheads from Turkey’s Incirlik airbase near the Syrian border to Romania. At the same time, Turkey’s Prime Minister on August 20 stated to the media that Russia could possibly use Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase if necessary, something that certainly produced more acute gas pains in Langley, Foggy Bottom (the more than fitting name for the US State Department headquarters), and the Obama White House.

July 15 may go down in history as one of the most decisive defeats of American global power projection, of the so-called New World Order of David Rockefeller and friends. If so, not a minute too soon for the prospect of a more peaceful world.


A year on the UAE and Egypt's involvement in Turkey's failed coup attempt is more apparent than ever before. The Turkish government's attitude toward Iran and Libya was another reason behind the UAE's support for last year's failed coup attempt, writes Telci Umit. 

Ismail Numan Telci is the Deputy Director of the Middle East Institute (ORMER) at Sakarya University.

The July 15 coup attempt in Turkey sent shockwaves throughout the world, including Arab countries. Many Arabs, who have witnessed the reversal of the Arab Spring revolutions, staunchly opposed the coup attempt and showed support for the Turkish people and government. However, certain Arab governments and their operatives were openly supportive of the coup plotters and even offered logistical support to FETO, the armed organisation led by the US-based Turkish national Fethullah Gulen that orchestrated the failed coup.

Although the relationship between these Arab governments and Gulen supporters wasn't initially clear, it came to be better appreciated in light of new evidence that has been discovered over the past year.

Egypt's government emerged as the most vocal supporter of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. In the immediate aftermath of the failed coup, the government of General 
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced that it could consider granting asylum to Fetullah Gulen in case he was compelled to leave the United States. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities failed to impose restrictions on FETO's activities within their borders and allowed the group's representatives to appear on Egyptian TV channels in order to defend the coup plotters. Moreover, pro-government broadcasters in the country adopted an editorial line that sided with the coup plotters against Turkey's democratically elected government. In an effort to spread the messages of Fetullah Gulen to the Arab world, a television network owned by Mohammed Dahlan, a Palestinian adviser to the UAE broadcast an interview with the failed coup's mastermind.

The UAE was another strong supporter of the coup attempt in Turkey. It has recently been revealed that, unsettled by Ankara's regional policy in recent years, the country took a series of thinly veiled steps to support FETO's attempt to remove Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power. 

In June, emails leaked from the personal account of Abu Dhabi's ambassador to Washington, Yousef al Otaiba, revealed that the Gulf nation could have played a greater role in last summer's failed coup than originally anticipated.

The emails showed that Otaiba was in close contact with senior officials from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a US-based think-tank primarily financed by the pro-Israel businessman Sheldon Adelson. An exchange between the UAE ambassador and John Hannah, a senior counsellor at the foundation, provided valuable insights into Abu Dhabi's relationship with the coup plotters in Turkey.

In one of the leaked emails, Hannah, a former deputy national security adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney, sent Otaiba an article claiming that both the UAE and FDD were responsible for the July 15 military coup attempt in Turkey, saying he is "honoured to be in the UAE's company".

Turkey's strong economic, military and political ties with Qatar are another reason behind the UAE's hostile attitude towards the Turkish government. Hannah previously published an article at titled "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erdogan?" in which he suggested that the Turkish military would turn on Erdogan to "save" Turkey. Also, in an article published by Middle East Eye in July last year, British journalist David Hearst claimed that the UAE had set aside significant funds to ensure that the coup attempt in Turkey would be successful. He alleged that Mohammed Dahlan, acting on behalf of the UAE government, delivered money to FETO operatives. Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the press that a Muslim country had spent $3bn on efforts to overthrow the Erdogan government, adding weight to the claims that the UAE funded last year's coup attempt.

UAE's motives

There are several reasons behind the UAE's desire to topple Turkey's government. 

First of all, it is no secret that the UAE has been unhappy with the Turkish government's approach to the Arab Spring revolutions. When protests broke out in several Middle Eastern countries, Ankara expressed solidarity with the pro-democracy forces and openly supported the replacement of Western-controlled authoritarian regimes with democratically elected governments. Believing this pro-democracy message to be detrimental to its own interests, Abu Dhabi took measures against the country.

Another important factor behind AUE's support for the Turkish coup plotters was Turkey's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a moderate movement that enjoys vast popularity in Egypt and across the Muslim world.

Believing that the group poses a challenge to their rule, political elites in Abu Dhabi adopted a staunch anti-Brotherhood policy. In 2013, they supported Sisi's military coup which removed Brotherhood's Morsi from power in Egypt and later they took a series of steps to topple the government of Turkey in a similar manner. They also orchestrated - alongside Saudi Arabia - the on-going blockade of Qatar.
Turkish government's attitude toward Iran and Libya was another reason behind the UAE's support for last year's failed coup attempt.

WATCH: Qatar and Turkey 'see eye to eye' in many regional issues (3:57)

In Libya, the Turkish government is supporting the formation of a democratic government while the UAE is backing the military government of Khalifa Haftar and refusing to help the war-torn country move towards democracy. At the same time, Abu Dhabi remains unsettled by Ankara's friendly relations with Tehran at a time when it wishes to isolate the country. 

Turkey's strong economic, military and political ties with Qatar are another reason behind the UAE's hostile attitude towards the Turkish government. The strengthening cooperation between Ankara and Doha leaves several Gulf countries - including Saudi Arabia and the UAE - unsettled, because they do not want Turkey to become more influential in the Gulf region. Abu Dhabi and Riyadh's recent call for the immediate shutdown of the Turkish military base in Qatar is an example of this sentiment.

Finally, Turkey's search for a new regional order in the Middle East encourages the UAE to work more closely with regional and global players to isolate Ankara. The UAE has been engaging Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Israel, the United States and others in an effort to mitigate the Turkish influence in the Middle East.

Committed to the goal of promoting democracy, perpetuating peace and spreading development and economic welfare to all societies in the Middle East, Turkey will remain a transformative player in the region. Ironically, the support provided by certain local and global stakeholders to the coup plotters in Turkey not only boosted Turkish President Erdogan's popularity, but also led Ankara to reconsider its policy towards said countries. Promoting regional cooperation and urging local players to have more control over the Middle East, the Turkish government should be expected to work more closely with governments that share these goals and to take stronger action against those that disagree.

Ismail Numan Telci is the Deputy Director of the Middle East Institute and an assistant professor at the Department of International Relations at Sakarya University. He is also a foreign policy researcher for SETA.

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