Reza Zarrab: The Upside-Down Deal in the Iran Sanction-Busting Scandal!

Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is also involved in Special Counsel Mueller's investigation, has been released from federal prison and given immunity, and will be the star witness at a trial over a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran. Federal prosecutors in New York will have Zarrab on the stand on Wednesday to testify against his former co-defendant, Turkish bank executive Mehmet Atilla.

In this episode of Probable Cause Sibel Edmonds presents two main factors driving the direction of the Zarrab case- both of which are absent from the agenda-driven mainstream and pseudo-alternative media outlets. Edmonds discusses Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s role and targets in the case, and delves into the backward deal- aka an upside-down deal, the US prosecutors have given Zarrab-the Kingpin, in the Gold-for-Gas case, in return for his testimony against the low-level accomplices.

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Notes

The Coming Two Coups: The Mysterious Zarrab Case, Mueller, Trump & Erdogan

Turkish businessman's Iran sanctions guilty plea opens door to cooperation in Robert Mueller's Michael Flynn investigation

Feds Flip Turkish Crook; Did He Rat on Michael Flynn?

A Mysterious Case Involving Turkey, Iran, and Rudy Giuliani

Signs of Possible Guilty Plea in Turkish Gold Trader Case

Did the Feds Flip Turkish Businessman Reza Zarrab—and Could He Bring Down Michael

The Link Between a U.S. District Attorney Fired by Trump and the President of Turkey

The Coming Two Coups: The Mysterious Zarrab Case, Mueller, Trump & Erdogan

Join Sibel Edmonds in this Newsbud exclusive for the most comprehensive analysis in the case of Reza Zarrab, the high-profile people closely involved- from President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Mukasey and Robert Mueller, to President Erdogan and major Turkish bankers, and the likely manipulation of the case with serious implications for two presidents. Anticipation is building from Turkey to the US about potential explosive revelations in this Zarrab case, which has been shrouded in mystery and filled with surprises.

Newsbud is in a unique position to provide full-spectrum coverage unlike any other news site - with its in-house language and analysis expertise, and national and international sources. Our work is only made possible by your support. Currently we have our end-of-year fundraiser. We are counting on your donations. Please support this amazing news organization where media integrity matters. Thank You All, For Newsbud,  I am Sibel Edmonds.

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Show Notes

A Mysterious Case Involving Turkey, Iran, and Rudy Giuliani

Reza Zarrab: Erdogan’s Ticking Bomb

'Stealth' Turkish Businessman a No-Show for Trial This Month

Signs of Possible Guilty Plea in Turkish Gold Trader Case

Gold Trader Case Threatens Economic Fallout for Turkey

Erdogan Links Alleged in U.S. Documents Before Iran Trial

Turkey: Friend or Frenemy? A Tangled Relationship Keeps Getting Worse

Are US and Turkey Heading for a Divorce?

Turkey Issues Diplomatic Note to US Over Gold Trader Zarrab's Relocation without Notification

Messy Web of Ties, Some to Trump, in Turkish Mogul's Case

The Link Between a U.S. District Attorney Fired by Trump and the President of Turkey

Schumer, Bharara Being Probed for Alleged Ties to Failed Turkey Coup Cleric

Did the Feds Flip Turkish Businessman Reza Zarrab—and Could He Bring Down Michael

What Mueller's Org Chart Reveals About his Russia Probe

Turkey had to issue 2nd diplomatic note over jailed businessman Zarrab's whereabouts: minister

CIA-NATO Target Russia’s Coming Election While German Leaders Are Bought By Radical Islamic Cult

The hottest stories from Newsbud.com in this weekly round up, plus a sneak peak of whats to come. Sign up today and join the community for access to exclusive content only available at Newsbud.com

Newsbud Roundtable- “A Turning Point in the Middle East & the Fall of an Empire!”

Newsbud Founder-Editor Sibel Edmonds joins foremost Middle East expert and analyst Prof. William Engdahl and top Russia-Balkans expert Professor Filip Kovacevic in a one-of-a-kind roundtable discussion on a Turning Point in the Middle East and the fall of the US Empire. Our distinguished panelists discuss Turkey’s major shift away from NATO and into further alliance with Russia, Iran and the rest of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the contentious coming Kurdish referendum, the recent Turkey-Germany spat, the CIA’s Fethullah Gulen’s infiltration of the German government, and much more.

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Show Notes

Turkey’s Shift from NATO Is Redrawing the Map

Turkey Urges Iraqi Kurds to Abandon Independence Vote

U.S. Urges Kurdistan to Delay Independence Referendum

Germany’s Juncker Says Erdogan’s Turkey Taking Giant Steps Away From EU

According to Germany’s Gabriel, “Turkey will never be EU member under Erdogan”

Berlin has been Intensifying Agitation against Turkey

Kurds Drive a Wedge between US and Turkey

US-Rebels Clash in Syria Becomes Attempt to 'Prevent Turkey from Entering Afrin'

Turkey Terror Spike: Operation Gladio B Targeting Turkey’s Erdogan

Sibel Edmonds exposes a covert operation aimed against the democratically elected government of Turkey in response to the directional change of the Syrian war. She examines the recent increase in terror attacks in Turkey, who is behind the attacks, and why.

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Show Notes

Power outages linked to sabotage, minister rules out further risk

Three reasons the Islamic State is focused on Turkey

Russia pleased with deepening US-Turkey rift over Syria

How Iran sees Russian-Turkish deal on Syria

US Media: Distorters of Reality & Gravediggers of Truth

BFP Exclusive: Syria- Secret US-NATO Training & Support Camp to Oust Current Syrian President

Syria Coverage Update: BBC Reporter was detained & Prevented from Covering US-NATO- Syrian Operations in Turkey!

Istanbul nightclub attack involved an intelligence organization: deputy PM

Sibel Edmonds: The Future of Newsbud & Important Updates

Beginning this month Newsbud will be offering exclusive content only available at newsbud.com. The content will be available only to the Newsbud Community Members(Subscribers). Your subscription will provide you with full community access to exclusive content, Including videos and articles from Newsbud’s team of experts and analysts. As members you will also receive monthly newsletters from Newsbud Founder Sibel Edmonds.

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Show Notes

Become a Newsbud Community Member

Support Independent Media

Phase One Kickstarter

Phase Two Kickstarter

Turkey Chooses Russia over NATO in Syria

In this fifteenth edition of the Russian Newspapers Monitor, Professor Filip Kovacevic discusses the articles from four Russian newspapers: RBK, Kommersant, Izvestia, and Komsomolskaya Pravda. He discusses the record gas exports to Europe by the Russian gas giant Gazprom, the Russia-Turkey-Iran relations on the eve of the Syrian conflict resolution negotiations in Astana, the interview of the top Russian diplomat at the UN, Vitaly Churkin, and the Russian reaction to the president-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference. Professor Kovacevic also provides a proof that the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA are reading the Russian tabloid press.

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Show Notes

RBC - Jan 10, 2017

Kommersant - Jan 11, 2017

Izvestia Moscow Edition - Jan 10, 2017

Izvestia – Jan 12, 2017

Komsomolskaya Pravda - Jan 11, 2017

The New Great Game Round-Up: August 5, 2015

Turkish Meddling in Xinjiang Overshadows Erdogan's China Visit, Russia: ISIS Comes- NED Goes & More

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

On July 31, representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban were scheduled to meet in Pakistan for the second round of the recently launched Afghan peace talks. The first round of talks in the hill resort of Murree just outside Islamabad was hailed as a "breakthrough," raising hopes that the warring parties could come to an agreement. Pakistan's efforts to facilitate the meeting and the attendance of Chinese and U.S. officials signaled widespread support for the peace talks. But just as people were getting their hopes up, two days before the next meeting in Pakistan, BBC's Afghan Service dropped a bombshell by reporting the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Two weeks earlier, the Taliban leader had purportedly endorsed the peace talks in a statement posted on the Taliban's official website, making the reports of his death all the more surprising. It was not the first time that Mullah Omar's death has been reported but this time everyone agreed that Mullah Omar was dead:

Afghan government formally confirms death of Mullah Omar The government of Afghanistan formally confirmed the death of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar. A statement by the President Palace said “The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan.” The statement further added “The government of Afghanistan believes that grounds for the Afghan peace talks are more paved now than before, and thus calls on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and join the peace process.”

Mullah Omar's Death Spoils Afghan Peace Talks

Pakistan reportedly confirmed the death as well and the U.S. deemed the reports credible. According to Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS), Mullah Omar died in a hospital in Karachi in April 2013. A former Afghan Taliban minister and member of the central leadership mentioned the same time of death and added that Omar died of tuberculosis. Last but not least, Mullah Omar's family and the Taliban leadership officially confirmed the death after Taliban deputy leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor had been chosen as Omar's successor. As usual, the Taliban put their own spin on the whole story by claiming that "Mullah Omar never visited Pakistan or any other country except Afghanistan" but all parties agreed to finally acknowledge the death of the long-time Taliban leader and move on. However, the choice of Mullah Omar's successor didn't go down well with everyone:

Mullah Omar's son says he cannot support new Taliban leader

No sooner had the Taliban selected a new chief to replace Mullah Omar than deep fractures emerged on Friday, as the former leader's son said he rejected the choice of successor. Mullah Yacoob, Mullah Omar's oldest son, said he and three other senior leaders walked out of a meeting called to elect a leader, and were demanding a wider vote. “I am against the decision to select Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as leader,” he told The Associated Press.

Signs of deep fractures within the Taliban movement have already surfaced during the Afghan peace talks. Mansoor endorsed negotiations with Kabul, whereas battlefield commander Abdul Qayyum "Zakir" went as far as threatening to join ISIS if the talks continued. Zakir is now spearheading efforts to form a new leadership council that would replace the existing Quetta Shura because he wants to see Mullah Omar's son Yacoob as the new supremo. With the Taliban in disarray, the prospects for the Afghan peace talks are bleak. Although Mansoor is clearly more inclined toward dialogue, he felt the need to pander to his audience by distancing himself from the peace process. Moreover, he offered to meet his critics and address their grievances. Mansoor emphasized the "need for unity" as "the world tried its best to create rifts in our ranks." His top priority is to stop the factionalism that has been fueled by Mullah Omar's death. Otherwise, the Taliban are also going to lose more fighters to ISIS:

IMU Pledges Allegiance to Islamic State Only days after the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar was announced, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan terrorist group has reportedly sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. In a video posted by the IMU-controlled Furqon TV on July 31, a figure identified as the group’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Muhammad Ali, stands in front of the black flag of IS and pledges loyalty to the organization. The rest of the 16-minute video shows IMU militants carrying out attacks on Afghan army posts in Zabul province, which borders Pakistan. Usman Ghazi, the IMU’s leader since 2012, features in the clip. This is the first time the IMU’s central leadership has formally sworn allegiance to ISIS. But it is not the first report of IMU-linked militants allying themselves with ISIS.

Mullah Omar's jihadist credentials have long prevented more insurgents from joining ISIS. The confirmation of his death is going to have profound ramifications for the Taliban movement and the Afghan peace process. Remarkably enough, shortly after his death was finally confirmed, Pakistani media reported that Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of the Haqqani network, has also been dead for some time. Members of the Haqqani family and the Taliban immediately denied the reports and published a statement purportedly quoting Jalaluddin Haqqani as mourning the loss of Mullah Omar and giving his backing to Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. Jalaluddin Haqqani's son Sirajuddin was recently named as Mansoor's deputy. Considering that the Haqqani network is a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's ISI intelligence service, there is some evidence to suggest that Pakistan used Mullah Omar's death to put more easily controllable leaders in charge of the Taliban. After all, the Pakistani authorities don't want to take any chances in light of the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [emphasis mine]:

Any attempt to obstruct, impede CPEC will be thwarted: COAS The army chief on Friday reiterated that any attempt to obstruct or impede the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be thwarted. According to a statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday evening,, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif congratulated the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) on its 88th anniversary. He also commended the deep ties between Pakistan and China. Gen Raheel also fired broadsides at state and non-state actors trying to destabilise Afghanistan. “Our cooperation for regional stability will squeeze space for state and non-state actors for a stable Afghanistan,” the statement added.

Turkish Meddling in Xinjiang Overshadows Erdogan's China Visit

It remains to be seen whether or not the 'all-weather friends' Pakistan and China will be able to walk the talk. Given that new Taliban leader Mansoor has to put his house in order first, it is unlikely that the Afghan peace talks will resume anytime soon. As the Taliban are already killing each other over Mansoor's appointment, China is also getting worried about how Mullah Omar's death will affect previous understandings with the Taliban regarding Xinjiang. Mullah Omar and the Quetta Shura normally promised Beijing not to allow Uyghur jihadists to operate autonomously or launch attacks against China from Afghan territory. These kind of guarantees are more difficult to obtain when dealing with various warring factions. The Chinese authorities spare neither trouble nor expense to convince other state and non-state actors of supporting China's war on terror. Mullah Omar and the Taliban more or less kept their promises but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not to be trusted in this regard:

Turkish president opposes terror against China Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday vowed to cooperate with China to fight against the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) during his visit to Beijing, a clear signal that observers say indicates Turkey is ready to remove obstacles in Sino-Turkish ties and seek closer economic cooperation. 

During his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Erdogan said that Turkey will respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, oppose any terrorist acts against China, including those launched by ETIM, and will not allow any force to harm Sino-Turkish ties. He added that Turkey is also a victim of terrorism, China Central Television reported.  Zan Tao, an expert on Turkey affairs and an associate professor at Peking University, told the Global Times that Erdogan's remarks about ETIM are very clear and strong, compared with his previous remarks over similar matters.

Erdogan's visit to China came at a crucial moment in Sino-Turkish relations. China is Turkey's second-largest trade partner and both countries want to boost economic cooperation in order to build a new Silk Road but disagreements over China's Uyghur minority have strained the relationship significantly in recent months. Beijing publicly reprimanded Ankara twice for its support of the East Turkestan independence movement by revealing damning information about Turkey's role in Uyghur smuggling and terror operations. The latest disclosure was prompted by an ongoing row over Uyghur refugees in Thailand and a vicious propaganda campaign during Ramadan, which has given rise to anti-China sentiments in Turkey. In the run-up to his China trip, Erdogan eventually tried to defuse the situation as Asians in Turkey were about to get lynched. A few days ago, the Turkish President then continued his reconciliation efforts in Beijing, much to the dismay of the East Turkestan crowd at home:

Erdoğan’s ’terrorism’ reference regarding Uighurs draws public criticism Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's use of the term “terrorism” in reference to Uighurs -- an ethnic Turkic minority in western China -- while in Beijing where he pledged to cooperate with the Chinese government to combat terrorism, including activities by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), have drawn fierce criticism from the Turkish public as well as opposition lawmakers. "For the president of Turkey, these remarks were not proper. Just to make a gesture to China, Erdoğan's remarks are not only misleading and wrong, but also will encourage Chinese officials to treat Uighurs as they used to do in the past," veteran Turkish diplomat and former deputy for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Faruk Loğoğlu told Today's Zaman. "Considering the fact that Uighurs have been subjected to restrictions and pressure over their identity and religion, this reference to ETIM would likely to undercut righteous struggle of Uighurs to fully realize their cultural and religious rights," said Oktay Vural, deputy chairman of opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The far-right MHP and its paramilitary youth wing, the Grey Wolves, have been leading Turkey's fight against Asian tourists and "China's brutality in East Turkestan" but Erdogan and the Turkish government are doing their bit as well. Ankara's support of the East Turkestan independence movement is being exposed more and more. A few weeks after Beijing complained that Turkish diplomats in Southeast Asia are handing out travel documents to Chinese Uyghurs, Reuters revealed lately that the documents even list "East Turkestan" as their nationality. Erdogan's pledge to respect China's territorial integrity and to support Beijing's war on terror should therefore be taken with a grain of salt. Even Ankara's flirt with a Chinese air defense system cannot disguise the fact that relations between the two countries remain uneasy. To make matters worse, Turkey's favorite terrorist group has recently called on China's Uyghurs to join its "caliphate," which means more work for Turkish border guards:

Turkey detains 457 Syria-bound 'foreign terror' suspects Almost half of the 457 people detained by Turkish authorities on the Turkish-Syrian border between January 1 and June 30 are Chinese nationals, Turkish Armed Forces sources told Anadolu Agency Wednesday. According to the sources, out of the 457 people detained, 241 are Chinese, 13 British, seven Afghans, five Germans, two Americans, one Australian, five Azerbaijanis, one Bangladeshi, five Belgians, one Brazilian, two Bulgarians, one Danish, one Moroccan, 12 French, 30 Palestinians, six South Koreans, five Dutch, one Kazakh, two Maldivian, one Egyptian, one Romanian, 56 Russians, two from Trinidad and Tobago island, one Slovakian, nine Saudis, six Tajiks, two Tunisians, 29 Turkmen, three Uzbeks, two Iranians, two Spanish and two Italians.

The suspects were detained at the Turkish border when they tried to enter Syria illegally and were being treated by authorities as suspected “foreign terrorist fighters", the sources added.

Russia: ISIS Comes, NED Goes

The exceptionally high number of Chinese nationals detained on the Turkish-Syrian border suggests that either the Turkish authorities are deviating from standard operating procedure by actually preventing Uyghurs from crossing into Syria or previous estimates of Uyghur fighters in Syria were dead wrong. Turkey has now officially declared war on ISIS but wannabe caliph al-Baghdadi and his minions don't have to be afraid because the Kurds are the real target. Only a small fraction of the more than 1000 "terrorist suspects" recently detained in Turkey were ISIS supporters while over 80 percent of the suspects were linked to the PKK. The Russian authorities can consider themselves fortunate to have convinced the Turks of arresting two suspects linked to ISIS recruitment in Russia. LifeNews just reported that the man in charge of ISIS recruitment in Russia has been identified and that two of his subordinates in Turkey were detained. This comes shortly after ISIS made headlines in the North Caucasus:

Russia says security forces kill 14 Islamist militants Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) forces killed eight Islamic State militants on Sunday and six other Islamist rebels on Monday in the North Caucasus, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) said. NAK said the rebels killed on Sunday in the republic of Ingushetia were involved in "terrorist crimes" including killing law enforcement officials and extorting money. NAK identified one of those killed in Ingushetia as Adam Tagilov, who it said was behind fighting in the city of Grozny, capital of Chechnya, that killed more than 20 people — policemen and militants — in December 2014.

The killing of eight ISIS "rebels" on Sunday was one of the first major incidents involving ISIS in Russia. Given that ISIS has taken over from the Caucasus Emirate as the leading terrorist group in the North Caucasus, it was certainly not the last one. Russian officials have been hyping the ISIS threat from day one and the actual emergence of ISIS supporters in the North Caucasus provides the perfect pretext for ramping up the war on terror. Human rights activists have their work cut out but they have to look for new sources of funding if they don't like the "foreign agent" label. After the Kremlin has long been threatening to go after organizations that receive funding from abroad, they are now finally walking the talk. The Russian NGO "Committee Against Torture," which has long been a thorn in the side of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was one of the first groups to adapt to the new circumstances:

Igor Kalyapin announces creation of "Committee to Prevent Torture" The "Committee against Torture" (CaT), liquidated because of being put on the registry of "foreign agents", will be replaced by the "Committee to Prevent Torture" (CPT). The new organization will continue working in Chechnya, said its chairman Igor Kalyapin. "This week we'll submit documents (to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) of the Russian Federation – note of the "Caucasian Knot") on the liquidation of the organization; and on the following week, the CaT ceases to function. On August 3, another interregional organization – the "Committee to Prevent Torture" – will start working," the TASS quotes Mr Kalyapin as saying. He stressed that the new organization will not receive any foreign funding and will exist "solely on donations of Russian citizens," the RIA "Novosti" reports.

Russian NGOs will now have to make do without grants from the U.S. government, George Soros and other generous foreign sponsors. Although Russia is just following the example of the Foreign Agent Registration Act in the U.S., the West is of course freaking out. On July 21, Russia's Justice Ministry issued warnings to the Committee Against Torture and 11 other Russian NGOs that were identified as "foreign agents." The MacArthur Foundation, which is one of the foreign NGOs on Russia's "patriotic stop list," announced shortly thereafter that it is closing its branch office in Moscow because the new regulations make it "impossible to operate effectively" in Russia. George Soros' Open Society Foundations and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are just two of the many high-profile NGOs on the "patriotic stop list." The Khodorkovsky Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Jamestown Foundation and others could join them soon. These organizations are at risk of being banned from Russia:

U.S. National Endowment for Democracy Becomes Russia's First 'Undesirable Organization' The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S.-based international organization that exists to promote democracy, was declared an “undesirable organization” Tuesday by Russia's Prosecutor General's Office, meaning all its activities are banned on Russian soil. “Using the capabilities of Russian commercial and non-commercial organizations under its control, the National Endowment for Democracy participated in work to recognize election results as illegitimate, to organize political action with the goal of influencing government policy, and to discredit Russian army service,” the Prosecutor General's Office said in an online statement. Earlier this month, senators of the Federation Council — the upper chamber of the Russian parliament — proposed a list of 12 foreign NGOs whose work they said posed a threat to national security and who should therefore be declared undesirable. The NED was one of them.

# # # #

Christoph Germann- BFP Contributing Author & Analyst
Christoph Germann is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany, where he is currently studying political science. His work focuses on the New Great Game in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. You can visit his website here

The New Great Game Round-Up: June 8, 2014

The Gülen-SOCAR Network Exposed, Brussels' Reckless South Stream Sabotage & Much More!

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

With the exception of Uzbekistan's leader Islam Karimov, the presidents of all Turkic countries travelled to Turkey this week for the 4th summit of the Turkic Council. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov attended the summit personally for the first time indicating that Turkmenistan is ready to upgrade its status in the organization from observer to full member. Berdimuhamedov had already arrived a few days before the summit to discuss the strengthening of Turkey-Turkmenistan ties with top officials in Ankara. The two countries are set to sign a few trade agreement next year and Turkish President Abdullah Gül stressed during his meeting with Berdimuhamedov that Turkey "is ready to carry Turkmen gas to European markets." Both Ankara and Ashgabat have repeatedly voiced their interest in delivering gas from the Central Asian republic to Europe, which has so far lost out to China in the quest for Turkmen gas. In the light of recent events, Europe and Turkmenistan have ample reason to finally implement this project:

Turkic leaders pledge energy, tourism cooperation

"Trying to reduce its dependency on Russian natural gas, Europe wants Turkmen gas supplies more than ever," said Guner Ozkan, Caucasus and Caspian regions expert at the Ankara-based think-tank International Strategic Research Organization told the Anadolu Agency in an interview.

However, Ozkan pointed out that Russia is the strongest player in the Caspian region and it would be wrong to believe that Russia would not "intervene" in a project that will go through the Caspian and reach Europe to supply an alternative to Russian gas.

"The recent $400 billion agreement between Russia and China, will soften up Turkmenistan’s gas price negotiations with China," Ozkan said, adding, "Turkmenistan needs alternative markets as well and reaching Europe through Turkey is imperative from this perspective."

News from Pipelineistan & the Gülen-SOCAR Network Exposed

As Ozkan notes, one of the biggest obstacles to the Trans-Caspian pipeline is Russia's strong opposition. Furthermore, up to this point, the European Union has failed to come up with a unified energy policy and it does not look like as if this will change anytime soon. Relations between Turkey and Russia are fairly complex and resilient but if the Turkish government continues to push ahead with the Trans-Caspian project, Ankara's ties with Moscow could be damaged beyond repair. In recent weeks, Turkey was remarkably silent about the crisis in Ukraine, much to the dismay of its NATO allies.

According to the Kremlin, Turkish PM Erdogan even praised "the decisions made by the Russian president to improve the situation of Crimean Tatars." With Turkish-Russian relations apparently unaffected by the Ukraine crisis, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev used the Turkic Council summit to make the case for closer cooperation between the Turkic countries and the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and he invited Turkey to join the newly formed trade bloc. Although the Erdogan government will hardly take the offer, there seems to be a rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow. Dr. Vitaly Naumkin explained recently the reason for this:

Russia, Turkey agree on Gulen

Paradoxically, what today promotes the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey is Moscow’s extremely negative attitude toward the activities and ideas of Fethullah Gulen. In the past, when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) were allied with the leader of this Islamic sect — which is taking root in many countries around the world and in which a significant portion of Turkey’s population is involved, including prominent officials and, in particular, members of the security structures and the judges — Moscow’s position acted as an irritant for Ankara. Now, however, with the Cold War flaring up between the leader of the AKP and Gulen, who resides in the United States, Moscow’s position creates an interest in joint actions to limit his influence. Recall that all Gulenist schools have been closed in Russia, and in 2012 numerous books by this ideologue were included in the federal list of extremist literature by a Russian court decision

Russia was one of the first countries to ban the CIA-backed Gülen movement and, in contrast to other governments, the Kremlin will not rethink this decision. Experts such as Vasily Ivanov, an associate at the influential Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, warn against the nefarious cult. In his paper "Fethullah Gulen’s Movement: an extremist organization masquerading as supporters of 'the dialogue of civilizations'" Ivanov argues that the Gülen movement "glamorizes the idea of armed jihad." A few weeks ago, more and more people in Azerbaijan came to the same conclusion. The crackdown of the Aliyev regime on the Gülen movement was somewhat surprising considering Baku's subservience to Washington and some things did not add up, as mentioned in a previous round-up:

"A published list of alleged Azerbaijani Gülenists also included Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and, ironically, SOCAR’s vice-president Khalik Mammadov, which has prompted some speculation whether Baku is really cracking down on Hizmet by placing its schools under SOCAR's control or if the Gülenists are in league with the state-owned oil and natural gas corporation."

This week, a new article exposing the extensive lobbying efforts of the Azerbaijani authorities in the United States shed more light on the relationship between the Sate Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and the movement of CIA puppet Fethullah Gülen. According to the report, since early 2013, American lawmakers in 17 states have introduced resolutions or memorials relating to Azerbaijan, all of which had one thing in common:

Inside Azerbaijan’s Bizarre U.S. Lobbying Push

What the initiatives had in common was they nearly all had at least one sponsor who
attended a conference in the capital Baku in May 2013 organized by the Turquoise Council for Americans and Eurasians. The council is a Houston-based group connected to Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the moderate Islamist Hizmet movement who fled Turkey in 1999 after clashing with secular Turkish authorities who accused him of trying to turn Turkey into a religious Islamist state.

The Turquoise Council, headed by a Gulenist follower named Kemal Oksuz, paid for the travel of lawmakers who went on the trip, according to congressional records. Oksuz also chairs the Assembly for the Friends of Azerbaijan (AFAZ), a Houston group sponsored by SOCAR, which hosted a U.S.-Azerbaijan convention in Washington at the end of April attended by many of the same lawmakers who went on the trip to Baku, as well as other members of Congress and former administration officials. The Assembly’s vice president is Milla Perry Jones, the sister of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and its treasurer is Rauf Mammadov, the chief of SOCAR’s U.S. branch.
Oksuz also owned TDM Contracting, a construction firm in Texas that worked to build a network of Gulenist charter schools there.

So the Gülen movement and SOCAR are definitely working hand in hand, which means that Azerbaijan's move to place the Gülen schools under SOCAR's control did not really amount to a crackdown. Besides the Gülen-SOCAR network, the Aliyev regime is also using the Azerbaijan America Alliance as a conduit to lobby in the United States. The fairly new group is run by Anar Mammadov, the son of Azerbaijan’s Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov, and Dan Burton, former U.S. Congressman from Indiana. Burton demonstrated his abilities as a lobbyist already during his time in Congress. He did not shy away from taking bribes from the government of Turkey or Pakistan's ISI and has earned himself a place in Sibel Edmonds' State Secrets Privilege Gallery. Having friends like Burton in its pocket enables the Azerbaijani government to influence resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh and the like but it will not solve Baku's latest problem. A few days after French energy giant Total decided to sell its stake in Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II gas project to Turkey's state oil company TPAO, both Total and E.ON announced their plans to withdraw from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP):

Total, E.ON to exit pipeline to bring Azeri gas to Italy

France's Total and Germany's E.ON plan to withdraw from a pipeline scheme to bring Azerbaijan's gas to Italy, an Azeri official said, as falling Italian demand puts energy projects there into doubt.

The move comes less than a month after Russia's Gazprom said that it would re-route its massive South Stream pipeline, which plans to bring Russian gas to Europe later this decade, to Austria instead of Italy.

Europe sees Azeri gas as an alternative to its reliance on Russia, but analysts say commercial issues cloud the picture.

Brussels' Reckless South Stream Sabotage

With Italian gas demand falling 15% since 2005, E.ON is pulling out of the ailing Italian market and plans to sell its 9% share in TAP. Total's share is 10% and the remaining shareholders are BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (16%) and Axpo (5%). One day after the bad news, TAP's managing director reaffirmed that construction work on the pipeline will start next year. After all, TAP has been hailed as the answer to Gazprom's South Stream gas pipeline and Europe's first major step in reducing its dependence on Russian gas. This is of course a bunch of baloney. TAP was never a challenge for Gazprom and the Russians had no reason to complain, when the project was chosen over Nabucco-West. Despite the latest blow to the Southern Gas Corridor and the uncertain future of Russian gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine, Washington's lackeys in Brussels are doing their best to sabotage South Stream. Russian President Vladimir Putin is clearly fed up with the antics and has suggested re-rerouting the pipeline via non-EU countries if Brussels continues to play Cold War. But Russia wants to build the pipeline in any case, that much is clear:

Gazprom to build South Stream regardless of sanctions - CEO

Gazprom and its partners will build the South Stream gas pipeline to Europe regardless, despite the negative statements against this project by EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, the Russian gas giant's CEO, Alexei Miller said on television station Rossiya 24.

"No one can prohibit us from building South Stream, so construction will continue," Miller said, adding that there are regulatory issues [concerning a number of restrictions according to European legislation], "but this applies to the operation of the gas pipeline."

He said the first line of the pipeline is scheduled to be put into operation at the end of 2015, and there is still time to discuss these issues with the European Commission.

Gazprom is prepared to implement the project even if no external funds can be attracted. Some EU countries are also determined to proceed as planned. A few days ago, Brussels demanded that Bulgaria suspends construction work on the pipeline prompting the government of neighboring Serbia to state that there are no plans to delay the construction of Serbia's South Stream leg, which is scheduled for July. While the Serbian government also added that it is prepared to change its position depending on further developments, the Bulgarian government was less cooperative in this regard. Therefore, Brussels and Washington decided to get tough with Sofia. The EU withheld 90 million euros for a completely unrelated development program and the U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria threatened to impose sanctions on certain Bulgarian companies, sparking outrage in the Bulgarian business community. Furthermore, the wannabe cold warriors got a coalition partner in the Bulgarian government to do their bidding:

South Stream project threatens to bring down Bulgarian government

A junior coalition partner in the Bulgarian cabinet has called for early elections today (5 June), after publicly opposing the government's policy to continue construction of the Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline project, despite European Commission warnings that it infringes EU rules.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), a liberal party, said it disagreed with its senior coalition partner, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, over plans to continue building South Stream.


Lyutvi Mestan, the leader of DPS, a mainly Turkish ethnic party affiliated with the liberal ALDE group, told parliament that Bulgaria “shouldn’t do anything against Brussels”, saying the country should defend its national interest “in cooperation, not in confrontation” with Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hit the nail on the head this week when he accused the United States of doing everything to prevent an alliance between Russia and the EU. Unfortunately, Washington can count on the top officials in the EU to go along with it and act against European interests. This will have dire consequences for Europe sooner rather than later. Russia's eastern energy pivot is just beginning and if the country becomes a swing natural gas supplier between Europe and Asia, the EU will be on the losing end. When asked about the next major deal between Russia and China, Keun-Wook Paik, an expert on Sino-Russian energy issues and a fellow at Chatham House, put it bluntly: "If it materializes, it will be a dream situation for Russia but will be a nightmare for Europe." Brussels would be well-advised to reconsider its Cold War policies before it is too late:

Russia, China Could Agree Upon Altai Gas Pipeline

Just weeks after a historic $400-billion deal, Russia and China are now inching towards a second major gas project to build a pipeline to export natural gas from Russia's western Siberia to north-western China, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday.

“Considering the pace of China’s economic growth and the agreed pricing formula I’d say it is very likely that we will soon conclude a contract to build a western [pipeline] before long that will run across the Siberian Federal District,” Ivanov said.


Putin’s chief of staff said the project to build the so-called Altai natural gas pipeline was a particularly “huge” endeavor. “It might be less capital-intensive than the eastern one, but it’s no doubt going to cost us tens of billions of dollars,” he explained.

Turkmen-Afghan Border Sees More Violence

The new Cold War will backfire on the United States as well. Gazprom Neft has convinced most of its clients to sign agreements on a possible switch from dollars to euros. Moreover, Moscow and Beijing agreed to increase their cooperation in the monetary policy sector and to set up a joint rating agency. Russia and China seek to strengthen the BRICS as well as the CSTO and SCO. Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council and former director of the FSB, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week to discuss joint security cooperation. Patrushev emphasized that the increased activity of terrorist groups in Xinjiang in recent months "is not accidental" and the "Afghan factor and its impact on regional security" were also high on the agenda during his talks in the Chinese capital. In recent months, Moscow and Beijing have often warned against a possible spillover of violence from Afghanistan to the neighboring Central Asian states. Although these concerns have been ridiculed in the Western media, recent developments along the Turkmen-Afghan border lend credence to the spillover theory. At the end of last month, Turkmenistan's Foreign Minister paid an unscheduled visit to Afghanistan following the killing of three Turkmen border guards: 

Ashgabat, Kabul discuss situation on Turkmen-Afghan border, murder of Turkmen soldiers

Turkmenistan has taken the issue of murder of its border guards with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai as constant criminal activities have been reported in border areas of Faryab and Badghis provinces on the Turkmenistan-Afghan border.

Turkmenistan believes that Afghan criminal groups are involved in killing Turkmenistan border guards with the support of Afghan border security staff. The matter has been discussed between President Karzai and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov during their
meeting in Kabul.

Karzai assured the Turkmen Minister that Afghanistan would start probes into the border incidents. He regarded the extensive cooperation between intelligence and security agencies of both the countries as important for thwarting criminal activities in the frontiers, and articulated that more Afghan security forces would be deployed in areas bordering Turkmenistan.

It was the second time this year that Turkmen border guards were killed by Afghanistan-based insurgents. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was outraged about the incident but instead of blaming the Afghan authorities or the insurgents he threatened to dismiss Turkmenistan’s border police chiefs and slammed them for their "improper" work and "shortcomings." Meanwhile, the violence along the Turkmen-Afghan border is escalating:

Afghan Village On Turkmen Border Comes Under Attack

Six Afghan border guards have been wounded in an attack on the northern village of Marchak, along the border with Turkmenistan.

The chief of security in the Afghan district, Daulat Mawin, said the attack started late on June 4, when militants launched an assault on the village, which is located in Afghanistan's Baghdis Province.


Mawin said the security situation in the region had been deteriorating for several months.

Turkmen border guards have reportedly increased their surveillance and are now flying regular helicopter patrols along the border. It is not entirely clear whether the attacks in this region are perpetrated by the Taliban or some other group. CIA's RFE/RL linked the latest killing of Turkmen border guards to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and has started to promote the terrorist group. The rise of the IMU in the region might coincide with NATO's "withdrawal" from Afghanistan. Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama outlined a plan to withdraw all but 9.800 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and the rest by the end of 2016. As usual, Obama forgot to mention a few crucial points [emphasis mine]: 

When 9,800 Doesn't Equal 9,800

An invisible army of American diplomats, intelligence personnel, civilian government officials, and contractors will remain in Afghanistan well in the future, likely outnumbering the 9,800 troops that will be there next year and the smaller numbers of troops that will be there in the years to come.

By the Pentagon's latest count, there are 61,452 contractor personnel supporting the Defense Department in Afghanistan, including 20,865 civilians. (This is down from 113,491 near the height of the Afghan war in January 2012.) These figures represent the current contractor support network for U.S. military forces, at a ratio of roughly two contractors for every U.S. service member. After the military withdrawal, our diplomatic footprint will likely rely even more on contractors than the military, because the State Department and other civilian agencies don't have the same logistics, communications, and security force structure as the military. A diplomatic mission of 1,000 to 2,000 could require as many as three to five times its number in support contractors, depending on the extent of its movements around the country and the amount of security risk it wants to take in Afghanistan. (Today, more than 5,000 contractors support the U.S. diplomatic mission in Iraq.) 

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Christoph Germann- BFP Contributing Author & Analyst
Christoph Germann is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany, where he is currently studying political science. His work focuses on the New Great Game in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. You can visit his website here

CIA’s Favorite Channel, New York Times, Lobbies for Mullah Fethullah Gulen

New York Times Comes out of the Closet - Doing the CIA’s Bidding

Last week Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey would officially request the extradition of US-based Mullah Fethullah Gulen- a Turkish preacher in Pennsylvania with a $20+ billion network, whose followers have been accused of trying to eliminate PM Erdogan’s government.

The New York Times began parading various agenda-driven analysts and experts, showcasing Gulen-connected figures, and attacking Turkey’s Erdogan in a one-sided lobbying effort. Before I go any further, allow me to illustrate the New York Times’ vehement, bold and one-sided defense of Gulen with verbatim quotes [All Emphasis Mine]:

Mr. Erdogan’s Islamist government and the supporters of Gulen, who promotes a moderate, pro-Western brand of Sunni Islam that appeals to many well-educatedand professional Turks.

I know our regular readers and supporters here at Boiling Frogs Post don’t need the bold emphases to explain the propaganda with its carefully picked words. For those who are not familiar with our extensive coverage of Mullah Gulen (See here, here, here, here and here), take notice of how Erdogan’s government is being characterized with one word, Erdogan’s Islamist government- a word often used and highlighted by Western propaganda outlets, aka mainstream media, with negative connotations and in close association with global terrorism. Now, please pay attention to all the false positive adjectives and characterization used by NYT to present Mullah Fethullah Gulen: Moderate, Pro-Western, Well-Educated, Professional. Oh, golly- Who is the Mullah here?!

You see, this is such a classic with the US government-fed propaganda outlets, aka US mainstream media. They first set the tone based on the objectives handed to them by their bosses. In this case: The CIA and the State Department. The readers, the uninformed readers, are pointed towards the intended false direction: An Islamist Government versus a moderate pro-Western man with well-educated and professional followers.

Let’s continue [All Emphasis Mine]:

“This extradition request has no legal basis,” said Ergun Ozbudun, a professor of law at Istanbul Sehir University, noting the considerable difficulty surrounding extradition requests even when suspects are charged with serious crimes. “The request for Fethullah Gulen’s extradition therefore would be a political one, and I don’t think would produce any results.”

Lawyers for Mr. Gulen, who has permanent resident status in the United States, agreed. “There is neither an investigation nor an arrest warrant issued by court in place to submit to the U.S. authorities,” said Nurullah Albayrak, an Istanbul lawyer who represents Mr. Gulen. “This is not something that political will can decide.”

A Gulen-affiliated group in New York, the Alliance for Shared Values, on Tuesday denounced Mr. Erdogan’s move, saying, “The prime minister’s talk about demanding the extradition of Mr. Gulen, when there are no charges or legal case against him, is a clear indication of political persecution and harassment.”

           

NYT picks one pro-Gulen legal expert, one lawyer who represents Mullah Gulen, and Gulen’s own organization, and establishes the extradition request as political with no legal basis. Now, let me go over this article for the fifth time, and see whether NYT showcases any so-called legal experts from the other side- one that puts forth the legal basis for this extradition request. I’m looking, looking, looking, and ooops: I have reached the end of the lobby-propaganda piece, and there is not a single legal opinion or analysis from the other side! How amazing is that?!

Finally, after showcasing Mullah Gulen’s confident denial of all documented accusations against him, without showcasing a single analyst or legal expert for the other side, the New York Times concludes its propaganda-lobby piece with the following paragraph:

In general, for the United States to approve an extradition request from another country, the person must be accused of a crime recognized in both jurisdictions, and there must be a reasonable belief that the person did commit the crime. It was not clear whether Turkey’s request would satisfy either requirement.

           

Now that we have established this editorial by the New York Times clearly as a one-sided lobby and propaganda piece for Mullah Gulen, ask yourself the following questions: Why did the New York Times jump to defend the Gülen Movement and the controversial Mullah? Whose interests is the New York Times really representing here? Why?

You see, this propaganda-lobby piece follows another equally propaganda-lobby piece that was published by the Washington Post a few months back:

In January this year, The Washington Post dutifully provided a platform for three outspoken Israel Lobbyists who are jointly calling on the Obama Administration to overthrow the current Turkish Administration. You heard it right. Morton Abramowitz, Eric Edelman and Blaise Misztal jointly penned a hysteria-reeked article to declare Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan a despot, and a great threat to democracy and U.S. interests. Let’s provide a few excerpts from this propaganda-ridden article :

Whatever his achievements over the past decade, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is destroying his country’s parlous democracy. That is a profound problem for Turks and Turkey’s Western allies. Staying silent, out of fear that speaking out would harm some short-term interests, risks Turkey’s longer-term stability.

Turkey’s democratic decline creates a pressing dilemma for the United States. Erdogan’s current course would take Turkey from an imperfect democracy to an autocracy. Such a fate for a close ally and NATO member would have profound implications for our partnership, the United States’ beleaguered credibility and the prospects for democracy in the region.

U.S. policymakers should lay aside their reluctance to confront the disastrous impact of Erdogan’s dictatorial tendencies and remind the Turkish leader of the importance the United States attaches to Turkey’s political stability and democratic vitality. Particularly as their influence is greater than it appears…

Erdogan is doing great harm to Turkey’s democracy. The United States should make clear, privately and publicly, that his extreme actions and demagoguery are subverting Turkey’s political institutions and values and endangering the U.S.-Turkey relationship.

Mort Abramowitz is a known neocon, Israel lobbyist, CIA and State Department Operative, and PNAC signatory, and has been one of Fethullah Gulen’s main handlers and backers. In fact, when the FBI and Homeland Security Department tried to kick the Islamic Mullah out of the United States, Abramowitz was one of the first Gulen CIA-State Department handlers to step in.

As for Eric Edelman? Let’s go back nine years and check him out in my State Secrets Gallery: I presented the State Department-CIA’s Eric Edelman as one of the top culprits in my State Secrets Privilege Case - when the government invoked the State Secrets Privilege and several additional gag orders to cover up the FBI’s investigations and files pertaining to CIA-NATO terror operations in Central Asia & the Caucasus since the mid-1990s. Just like Abramowitz, Edelman is known as an avid Israel lobbyist and a neocon.

If you haven’t already, please refer to my article and interview where I discuss and emphasize the role of Turkish Mullah Fethullah Gulen, who has been residing in the United States since 1998, as a major operative for CIA-NATO operations, not only in Turkey, but also in Central Asia and the Caucasus. During the past few years I have been a lone voice in the United States when it comes to real coverage of Gulen and his operations under the CIA. Here are a few examples of my coverage since 2009:

Boston Terror, CIA’s Graham Fuller & NATO-CIA Operation Gladio B-Caucasus & Central Asia

Turkish Intel Chief Exposes CIA Operations via Islamic Group in Central Asia

Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen Nabs George Bush PR Queen

The Sanitized Gulen Coverage Continues…

As a persistent lone voice I am asking you to pay close attention to these historical facts, the documented incestuous connections including the CIA, State Department and the Israel Lobby, and then go back and read this same New York Times article again. Then, you will be able to answer very quickly and confidently when you are asked: Whose interests is the New York Times serving? Who rules and controls the propaganda channels called US mainstream media outlets?

This is why I always question, and almost always write off, whistleblower cases that become the darling adopted pet cases for publications like the New York Times and Washington Post. You see, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t establish the rulers and ownership and agenda –setters for these publications, aka US media, and then go back and trust them when they begin to sell you a whistleblower or a leak as the real deal. It just doesn’t happen. One thing you can count on when it comes to this puppetry is consistency. If they advocate and report something it has been declared allowable and kosher by their bosses. And as we all know: nothing good or noble exists on the agenda list of the ruling establishment.

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Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

The New Great Game Round-Up: April 20, 2014

Azerbaijan Cracks Down on Mullah Gülen Movement, Azerbaijan’s Syria-Problem, SCO Fights Color Revolutions & Drug Trafficking

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Although the U.S.-backed Gülen movement has tried to topple Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by all available means, the controversial political leader managed to achieve a decisive victory in Turkey's recent local elections, which were viewed as a "referendum" on the Erdogan-led government. The Turkish PM did not waste any time by celebrating and instead continued his crackdown on the Gülen movement. Less than a week after the vote, the fight against the vast network of CIA puppet Fethullah Gülen led Erdogan to Azerbaijan, where Hizmet enjoys a strong presence:

Gülen: Top Issue in the Agenda of Erdoğan’s Visit to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has always had a tremendous importance for the Gülen movement, partly because that is where they started to expand and where they met success. Further development throughout the Caucasus and post-Soviet Central Asia helped them become one of the most
powerful and influential transnational Islamic movement present in more than 130 countries. Still, Azerbaijan is the one place outside Turkey where the movement is the most involved. Indeed, numerous businesses and educational companies managed by Gülen’s disciples and sympathizers operate here. Among them are the highly visible international Qafqaz University, a network of 15 high schools and more than 20 Araz prep schools spread around the country. Besides, some major media, like the newspapers Zaman Azerbaijan, the radio station Burç and a TV channel, are close to the Gülen movement.

Azerbaijan Cracks Down On Gülen Movement

The transnational Turkish-Azeri Gülen community plays an important role in the bilateral relationship between the two countries and the Azerbaijani authorities have always been very supportive of Hizmet's activities in Azerbaijan. But a few weeks ago, the Aliyev regime demonstrated its support of the Turkish PM by taking measures against the Gülen movement. In late February, while Erdogan stepped up his fight against Gülen's shadowy network in Turkey, Azerbajani media reported that a similar “parallel structure” existed in Azerbaijan. Erdogan then shut down Gülen-associated private schools in order to target Gülen's finances and asked other countries to follow suit. Within a few days, Hizmet's schools in Azerbaijan were put under tight control:

Azerbaijan Backing Turkey's Crackdown on Gülen Movement

In early March, Khalik Mammadov, vice-president of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), announced that the government-run energy company had taken over 11 Turkish-language high schools, 13 university-exam preparation centers and the private, Baku-based Caucasus University, all run by a Turkish educational company called Çağ Öğrətim (Era Education).

Çağ Öğrətim has never acknowledged a link with the Gülen movement, but most Azerbaijani education specialists and political experts have viewed its facilities as part of the Gülen movement’s 140-country network of schools. Çağ Öğrətim is part of the International Association of Turkish and Azerbaijani Manufacturers and Businessmen, a group that contains many Turkish companies that advocate Gülen’s principles.

 Furthermore, the diplomatic missions of both Turkey and Azerbaijan reportedly provided the government in Baku with a list of local Gülen followers and emails showing ties between Azerbaijani officials and Hizmet were leaked to the media in early March. One of the implicated officials was Elnur Aslanov who is considered to be the "patron of the Azerbaijani branch of Gülen followers". Shortly afterwards, Aslanov lost his job:

Turkey's Gülen Controversy Spills over to Azerbaijan

Aslanov was sacked on March 17 after a decision by President Aliyev, but the document did not name a reason for his dismissal. He headed the political analysis and information department in the President's administration since 2007, and is the son of Rabiyyat Aslanova, a ruling party MP, and reportedly has ties to the influential "grey cardinal" Ramiz Mekhtiyev, head of the President's Administration. He was responsible for supervising the Center for Strategic Studies, some leading pro-governmental media outlets, and the pro-governmental youth organization Ireli. Two days later, Aslanov's department was closed and merged with the Department of public-political issues.

A published list of alleged Azerbaijani Gülenists also included Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and, ironically, SOCAR’s vice-president Khalik Mammadov, which has prompted some speculation whether Baku is really cracking down on Hizmet by placing its schools under SOCAR's control or if the Gülenists are in league with the state-owned oil and natural gas corporation. Whatever the case may be, the Azerbaijani authorities have detained several Gülenists, who are also often referred to as "nurcu", in the last few days after Erdogan's visit to Baku and are now starting to blame them for Azerbaijan's Syria-problem. In light of the increasing number of Azerbaijani fighters heading to Syria, Sheikh ul-Islam and Grand Mufti of the Caucasus Allahshukur Pashazadeh had already called for harsher measures against Islamic extremists including nurcus at the beginning of this month [emphasis mine]:

Allahshukur Pashazadeh calls for joint fight against wahhabi, nurcu and takfiris not honoring state law 

Pashazadeh underlined the importance of joint fight against believers not honoring the laws of Azerbaijan Republic.

According to him, today there are all necessary conditions in Azerbaijan for religious people: “New mosques are being built. All conditions have also been created for representatives of other religions. Those who call themselves wahhabi, nurcu and takfiris should not pursue their policy against the Azerbaijani statehood. Each state has its own laws. If these people don’t obey the state laws, we all need to fight together with them, not only mullahs.”

The Syria-Problem

Given Azerbaijan's key role in NATO's jihadi operations in the region, the increasing number of Azerbaijani terrorists in Syria is hardly surprising. By now, dozens of Azerbaijani fighters have sacrificed their lifes for the efforts of the NATO-GCC-Israel axis to topple the Syrian government and the Aliyev regime is totally fine with his as long as the jihadists do not come up with the idea of "liberating" their home country. One terrorist learned this the hard way when he returned to Baku a few days ago. But even if the jihadi mercenaries do as they are told and continue to fight in Syria, there might be an unpleasant surprise:

Armenia and Azerbaijan Share a Syria-Problem

The Syrian war is giving a headache to both Azerbaijan and Armenia, with jihadists heading into Syria from Azerbaijan and refugees heading out of Syria into Armenia. Most recently, Azerbaijani news outlets have reported that the leader of an Azerbaijani militant group has been captured by the rebel Al-Nusra Front, which recently took control of the ethnic Armenian town of Kessab, and allegedly sentenced to death.

It is unclear why the Azerbaijani terrorist leader was sentenced to death but the Al-Nusra Front usually does not need a good reason to kill somebody. Since joining "more moderate" terrorist groups can be dangerous, other Azerbaijani jihadists prefer to fight for one of the local al-Qaeda branches. Every other day media outlets in Azerbaijan report about a new video documenting the activities of Azerbaijanis in Syria. The presence of Central Asian terrorists in the Middle Eastern country was likewise first highlighted by online videos, which caused a great stir in their respective home countries. Although the local authorities have tried to contain terrorist recruitment in the 'stans, many young men from the region continue to travel to Syria for jihad. Especially Kyrgyzstan struggles with this problem and so the grand mufti of Kyrgyzstan issued a statement this week calling on Kyrgyz youth to refrain from fighting in Syria. Moreover, two imams were removed from their posts and arrested:

Two imams banned from mosque service in Kyrgyzstan

Two members of extremist religious organizations banned in Kyrgyzstan worked as mosque imams in the Jalal-Abad Region in southern Kyrgyzstan.

The Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security confirmed the arrest: "Efforts are under way to check whether an imam from the Bazar-Korgon District and yet another one from the Suzak District in the Jalal-Abad Region have links to extremist religious organizations."

Over the past few years Kyrgyz police have identified a number of cases where mosque imams were members of banned extremist religious organizations.  

With members of extremist religious organizations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir working as mosque imams, the influx of Kyrgyz fighters into Syria comes as no real surprise. According to Kyrgyz officials, poor education of imams is one of the main reasons for the rise of Islamic extremism in the country. This has raised some concerns in neighboring Xinjiang, where the local authorities are facing a similar problem:

Xinjiang chairman vows to stop religious extremism

Nur Bekri, chairman of the government of west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has vowed to stop religious extremism from spreading in the ethnic region.

In an article in Monday's edition of the Xinjiang Daily newspaper, he said recent years have seen separatists, terrorists and religious extremists renew their efforts to sabotage Xinjiang's prosperity and stability by perpetrating a slew of terrorist incidents.

He went on to say that religious extremism had misled people, particularly the youth, into terrorist activities, and that those deceived became chess pieces in a politically motivated plot. 

SCO to Fight Color Revolutions, Drug Trafficking

Police in Xinjiang clamp down on religious extremism, terrorism and separatism, also known as the "three evil forces", and the law enforcers do not stand for any nonsense. With NATO troops reducing their presence in Afghanistan, the Chinese government is keeping a close eye on the security situation in neighboring countries because Beijing attaches utmost importance to stability in the region. After leading Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has already stated that the "door is wide open for the Taliban" to be included in political process, the Chinese authorities will be even more alert. Beijing is wary of developments, which could further Washington's East Turkestan project. Therefore, China's Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun used this week's meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to warn against new waves of color revolutions:

Guo Shengkun: SCO States are under threat of “color revolutions”

Ministry of Chinese Public Security, Guo Shengkun, stated during a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Security Council secretaries meeting held in Dushanbe on Thursday that the SCO member-states are under the threat of external forces, which are initiating “color revolutions”.

Mr. Guo noted that the SCO should join forces and work out joint measures to combat interference in the internal affairs of the countries. He proposed strengthening the management of NGOs and to strengthen control over social networks in order to “identify, analyze, prevent, and resolve scenarios of ‘color revolutions’ repetition in a timely manner in order to strengthen peace and stability in the region.”

The U.S./EU-sponsored "Brown Revolution" in Ukraine apparently made an impression on several SCO members. Last week, Russian President Putin had also pointed out that Russia faced a threat from NGOs "serving foreign national interests". So other leaders of SCO countries could soon follow Putin's example by enacting "foreign agents" laws or take their cue from Erdogan and ban Twitter. In addition to fighting NGOs and social networks, Shengkun proposed setting up a joint security center to deal with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and other terrorist groups in the region. China's Public Security Minister emphasized the role of the IMU and Hizb ut-Tahrir in drug trafficking and wants to deprive them of their funding by tackling the drug trade:

Beijing: Islamists control regional drug trafficking routes

Extremist religious organizations, among them Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan affiliated with Al-Qaeda, control drug trafficking routes which contribute the lion's share of their financing, Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun said on Thursday.


The notorious terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic Jihad and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, are energetically returning to the region, and new terrorist organizations emerge and launch their operations, the Chinese minister told the SCO colleagues.

Many routes of drug trafficking are controlled by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Hizb ut-Tahrir and the link between terrorism and drug trafficking is growing closer, Guo said.

As Shengkun rightly noticed, Washington's jihadist mercenaries get paid with money from NATO's opium trade, which is booming since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, because the drug money is "off the books". Since the Central Asian authorities are partially complicit in the illegal drug trade, large quantities of Afghan heroin reach Russia and Europe via Central Asia. Small amounts of drugs are regularly seized and minor drug traffickers busted but this does not affect the multi-billion dollar trade with opium from Afghanistan: 

Smuggling of more than 40 kg of Afghan heroin into Russia via Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan prevented in Tajikistan

Tajik special forces prevented the smuggling of more than 40 kg of Afghan heroin into Russia via territory of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, the public relations center of the State Committee of National Security of Tajikistan reported on Monday.

Wanted by Interpol drug-dealer from Kazakhstan detained in Bishkek

The employees of the National Central Bureau of Interpol in Kyrgyzstan detained a citizen of Kazakhstan, who is internationally wanted, in Bishkek Manas airport, the press service of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan reported Friday.

The man was trying to fly to Turkey on a passport with different name and photo. The detained man suspected of illegal possession, distribution and sale of Afghan drugs, trafficking via Kazakhstan to neighboring countries.

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Christoph Germann- BFP Contributing Author & Analyst

Christoph Germann is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany, where he is currently studying political science. His work focuses on the New Great Game in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. You can visit his website here

Turkey: It is Time to Prove Your Sovereignty

The best interests of Turkey lie with Turkey and its people- the empire and its imperial interests notwithstanding.

I am sure many of you are familiar with Paul Revere’s famed midnight ride, which took place 239 years ago. It has been claimed that Paul Revere shouted the following legendary phrase as he passed from town to town: “The British are coming!” Reading the latest mainstream media headlines and highly charged lengthy articles on the coming local Turkish elections makes me think of a modified version of Paul Revere’s famous phrase: “Alert, alert, the Turkish local elections are coming!” With no recognition that this is about Turkey, or the Turkish people, or Turkey’s own local elections, but instead just a highly manic and propaganda-reeked style meant to induce tension and divisiveness.

Over 50 million Turkish citizens will be casting their ballots in local elections on Sunday- in less than 12 hours. They will be voting on mayors and local parliaments, however, the ballot results will also affect Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party’s political future. Turkey has been in a special situation due to recent scandals, external influences, and a polarizing rift between Erdogan's supporters and opponents, thus, the coming local elections are deemed significant with major consequences.

With the endless stream of externally produced and circulated propaganda, corruption claims, new leaks and scandals, in addition to the escalating war of attrition between the AKP and the CIA-supported Fethullah Gulen’s network, Sunday’s election has enormous significance for the Turkish people.

While all of these facts and circumstances explain the current tension and developing circumstances in Turkey and for the Turkish people, not many facts are being provided for the equally, if not more, vehement and aggressive positions, actions and counteractions assumed by outside nations and groups. After all, it is Turkey and it is Turkey’s local elections. Allow me to provide a few examples taken from many hundreds in the last couple of weeks:

The media arms of the imperial west have rolled up their sleeves to serve the imperial interests. The headline from Financial Times reads: Turkey must look beyond Erdogan! Financial Times’ twin brother in arms for the empire screams: An increasingly autocratic prime minister is losing touch with voters and damaging his country! The Langley Media Gate, Washington Post, foams at the mouth: Turkey’s prime minister acts desperately to hold onto his power!

The US Congress, long in acceptance of the most severe human rights violations by ‘friendly & ally’ nations (aka our own puppet regimes) such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and many more, begins to take issue and assume a ‘tough’ stance with Turkey in a strategically timed move: Senators Introduce Resolution Condemning Turkey for Blocking Twitter and YouTube .

This is mirrored by the imperial US’ imperial partners in Europe: EU officials react to Turkey's YouTube ban and Judy Asks: Is Erdoğan Abandoning Democracy? That’s right. EU powers with vested interests have been equally up in arms. Carnegie’s European branch predicts in its wishful thinking: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Shallow Version of Democracy Will Falter .

Israeli media echo the same message: Something is rotten in Erdogan's kingdom The Times of Israel paints and mocks the Turkish Prime Minister: Erdogan’s fight against a shadow enemy! So does the Arab Monarchy tied publication Al Jazeera: Erdogan's 'megalomaniac' projects. Al-Monitor mimics similar lines: Turkey loses democracy at home, reputation in Mideast

With almost 200 countries in the world, the majority of which are characterized as dictatorships, with several major international conflicts such as Syria and Ukraine, dozens of bloody ethnic wars around the world, why in the world is there so much focus and interference with one nation’s recent struggle with what is supposed to be ‘internal’ conflicts? Why in the world so many actions and so much propaganda creation targeting this one nation- Turkey? Why so much attention on and meddling in what is supposed to be a sovereign nation’s own internal elections?

The United States’ interests are not the same as the interests of the Turkish people and the form of government that may represent their interests. US’ interests lie with its own imperial and absolute objectives, and with the interests of its 1% that profits from its global affairs, aggressions and violations.

Same with imperial Europe-They have zero concern when it comes to the stakes and consequences faced and suffered by the Turkish people. The EU is interested only in its own imperial web, interests and stakes.

Israel’s interests do not in any way or form include the interests of the Republic of Turkey and its people. They never did, and never will. Same goes for the puppet autocratic Arab regimes installed by and under the thumbs of their Western masters.

The coming local elections are the internal affairs of Turkey and the Turkish people. It will be their call; as it should be. Similarly, the results, all stakes and consequences of tomorrow’s elections are theirs to face and deal with. The best interests of Turkey lie with Turkey and its people, and tomorrow is the time and opportunity for the Turks to claim and prove their own sovereignty as they choose- the empire and its imperial interests notwithstanding.

# # # #

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

BFP Exclusive: Turkish Power Struggle Impedes NATO’s Campaign in Syria

Gülen Movement Determined to Topple Erdoğan at All Costs

Since the end of last year, Turkey has been engulfed in a spectacular power struggle between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the shadowy network of self-described “imam, preacher, and civil society activist” Fethullah Gülen. Due to the help of his friends in Langley, like for example Graham Fuller and Morton Abramowitz [1], Gülen managed to build a multi-billion dollar movement with millions of followers and a presence in 150 countries.[2]

The Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet, used its considerable influence in Turkey to launch an all-out attack on former ally Erdoğan at the end of last year, after the Turkish Prime Minister had fallen out of favor with Gülen and Washington.[3] When last December’s corruption scandal failed to bring down the government, Hizmet tried to discredit Erdoğan by exposing his role in supporting terrorism. At the end of last year, Gülen’s mouthpiece Today’s Zaman started to highlight the connection between Saudi terrorist financier Yasin al-Qadi and the AKP government as well as the Erdoğan family.[4] Although al-Qadi’s activities in Turkey had been known for years, Hizmet spared no efforts to highlight the al-Qadi-Erdoğan connection in the media but, as discussed previously, the coverage ignored a few important points:

“Gülen-controlled media have publicized much of this in last few days but they will not dare to mention that al-Qadi is a Gladio B operative who had previously the backing of Fethullah Gülen and that he took part in the now infamous pre-9/11 meetings at the U.S. embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, where illustrious characters like Bandar bin Sultan and Ayman al-Zawahiri showed up. After all, the Gülen movement itself plays a central role in the Pentagon's Operation Gladio B.”[5]

This also explains why Yasin al-Qadi could continue to conduct business with impunity in Turkey, Azerbaijan and other countries despite funding Ptech Inc. and ending up on several terrorist lists. The “terrorist” label, which had been removed in the meantime, is now being applied again and al-Qadi’s friend Erdoğan faces the same problem. Other terrorist supporters like the former U.S. Ambassadors to Turkey, Morton Abramowitz and Eric Edelman, who are featured in Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery along with Graham Fuller, emphasized that Erdoğan’s days are over.[6] So Hizmet has resorted to drastic measures in order to topple the disgraced Turkish Prime Minister.

2014 started with a bombshell. Utilizing their enormous influence in the Turkish police, Gülen’s followers stopped a truck carrying weapons and ammunition on its way to Syria. The truck was escorted by members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and allegedly hired by the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH).[7] İHH has a long history of supporting terrorists in accordance with U.S. foreign policy from Afghanistan to Bosnia and Chechnya.[8] Given Turkey’s key role in the NATO-GCC-Israel campaign to remove the Syrian government, this arms shipment is hardly surprising. What makes this incident so remarkable is that this campaign and Turkey’s involvement were exposed by the Gülen movement, which is otherwise supporting NATO’s war in Syria. The Erdoğan-led government responded immediately by removing the police officers who had followed and stopped the truck in Turkey’s Hatay Province.[9] Other purges followed and by now thousands of police officers and several prosecutors have been removed or transferred in the ongoing power struggle.[10]

Hizmet subsequently focused on leaking recordings of wiretapped conversations, which highlight the corrupt and criminal activities of Erdoğan and his associates. Faced with one embarrassing leak after another, the Turkish Prime Minister turned to his former friends in Washington and asked for support. Pro-Erdoğan media alleged that he got a positive response and that Fethullah Gülen could possibly be extradited to Turkey.[11] But the White House lost no time in denying these reports and demonstrated its support of the U.S.-based Imam and his vast movement.[12] Meanwhile, the leaks continued exposing more and more explosive information:

Turkish Airlines allegedly shipped weapons to unknown groups in Nigeria, which has been ravaged by violence between the army and Boko Haram militants, a new incriminating phone call revealed on Tuesday.

The leaked conversation is the latest blow to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been hit by a corruption probe ensnaring his key allies and a widening phone-tapping scandal.[13]

Erdoğan tried to prevent the leaks from spreading via social media by banning Twitter, to no avail. Instead he drew heavy criticism from all over the world further damaging his approval ratings, which have been declining rapidly over the past months.[14] With Turkey’s local elections just a few days away, Hizmet decided to deliver a final blow. On March 27, another audio recording incriminating Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and other high-level officials was leaked:

The voices of the illegal recording believed to belong to Davutoğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Hakan Fidan, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Gürel.[15]

According to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, the disclosed meeting had taken place at FM Davutoğlu’s office, where the officials were discussing the security situation in Syria. But the content of the audio recording has to be taken with a grain of salt. PM Erdoğan has regularly defended himself by saying that the leaked tapes were manipulated to give a false impression [16] and, as FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds cautioned, there is some truth to this claim when it comes to the latest leak:

“The tape/audio has been heavily tampered with; if authentic, then they have taken statements/conversations from several different contexts and time frames, and then they've patched them together after sanitizing, censoring. For example: you don't hear any mention of US/NATO or the Pentagon, yet they left the part with the UN in there ...”

If taken at face value, the audio recording is absolutely damning, especially considering the fact that the al-Qaeda mercenaries of the NATO-GCC-Israel axis are losing ground in Syria and Turkey’s willingness to get militarily involved.[17] In order to justify an intervention in Syria, Davutoğlu & Co. allegedly discussed selling the idea that Turkey has to protect the tomb of Süleyman Shah, a historic shrine that is under Turkish jurisdiction but located inside Syria's northern Aleppo province, from Islamist insurgents. Head of Turkish intelligence Hakan Fidan proposed staging a false flag to lend credence to this ridiculous idea:

Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”

Hakan Fida: “I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: “That’s what I told back there. For one thing, the situation is different. An operation on ISIL has solid ground on international law. We’re going to portray this is Al-Qaeda, there’s no distress there if it’s a matter regarding Al-Qaeda. And if it comes to defending Suleiman Shah Tomb, that’s a matter of protecting our land.”[18]

Just one day before the fateful leak, Turkish FM Davutoğlu was busy selling the terrorist threat in an exclusive interview with Agence France-Presse.[19] Simultaneously, pro- Erdoğan newspaper Daily Sabah took the same line: “Al-Qaeda Offshoot ISIL, A New Terror Threat For Turkey”.[20] In this context, Hizmet’s manipulated audio recording appears authentic but we have to consider the source, Gülen’s CIA-sponsored movement, which is now clearly prioritizing toppling Turkish PM Erdoğan over toppling Syrian President Assad. In a clear reference to Gülen’s shadowy network, Davutoğlu blamed a “parallel structure inside [the state]” for the leak and vowed to investigate “everybody and everything”.[21] Shortly thereafter, the first suspect, a Gülen-linked columnist, was detained.[22] Erdoğan’s response was to block YouTube, where all leaked recordings had been uploaded.[23] So the Western media could not ignore the incident. But the reporting focused entirely on Erdoğan’s passion for censorship instead of addressing the real issue: Hizmet had again exposed the terror campaign of the NATO-GCC-Israel axis in Syria in order to get rid of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan.

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Christoph Germann- BFP Contributing Author & Analyst
Christoph Germann is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany, where he is currently studying political science. His work focuses on the New Great Game in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. You can visit his website here

[1] Sibel Edmonds, “Did You Know: The King of Madrasas Now Operates Over 100 Charter Schools in the US?,” Boiling Frogs Post, 20 October 2010: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2010/10/20/did-you-know-the-king-of-madrasas-now-operates-over-100-charter-schools-in-the-us/.

[2] Tim Franks, “Fethullah Gulen: Powerful but reclusive Turkish cleric,” BBC, 27 January 2014: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25885817.

[3] Sibel Edmonds, “Turkish PM Erdogan: The Speedy Transformation of an Imperial Puppet,” Boiling Frogs Post, 18 January 2014: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/18/turkish-pm-erdogan-the-speedy-transformation-of-an-imperial-puppet/.

[4] “Report: Al-Qaeda suspects flee after Turkish gov’t blocks raid,” Today’s Zaman, 26 December 2013: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-335038-report-al-qaeda-suspects-flee-after-turkish-govt-blocks-raid.html.

[5] Christoph Germann, “The New Great Game Round-Up: January 5, 2014,” Boiling Frogs Post, 5 January 2014: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/05/the-new-great-game-round-up-january-5-2014/.

[6] Sibel Edmonds, “CIA-Gladio’s Zionist Operatives Urge Obama to Overthrow Erdogan’s Administration,” Boiling Frogs Post, 23 January 2014: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/23/cia-gladios-zionist-operatives-urge-obama-to-overthrow-erdogans-administration/.

[7] Fevzi Kızılkoyun, “Turkish governor blocks police search on Syria-bound truck reportedly carrying weapons,” Hürriyet, 2 January 2014: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-governor-blocks-police-search-on-syria-bound-truck-reportedly-carrying-weapons-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60494&NewsCatID=341.

[8] Ibid., Germann.

[9] “Police officers removed after stopping truck allegedly carrying weapons to Syria,” Hürriyet, 3 January 2014: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/police-officers-removed-after-stopping-truck-allegedly-carrying-weapons-to-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60522&NewsCatID=341.

[10] Constanze Letsch, “Turkish police caught in middle of war between Erdoğan and former ally Gülen,” The Guardian, 9 February 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/09/turkish-police-fethullah-gulen-network.

[11] “Gülen Could Be Extradited To Turkey,” Daily Sabah, 14.03.2014: http://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2014/03/14/gulen-could-be-extradited-to-turkey.

[12] Tolga TANIŞ, “Turkish PM's account of Obama's Gülen response 'not accurate,' White House says,” Hürriyet, 8 March 2014: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pms-account-of-obamas-gulen-response-not-accurate-white-house-says-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=63341&NewsCatID=359.

[13] “Turkish Airlines allegedly ships arms to Nigeria, tape reveals,” Agence France-Presse, 18 March 2014: http://news.yahoo.com/turkish-airlines-allegedly-ships-arms-nigeria-tape-reveals-202353840.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory.

[14] Terri Rupar, “Turkey’s prime minister banned Twitter, but these images show he can still muster huge crowds,” The Washington Post, 24 March 2014: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/03/24/turkeys-prime-minister-banned-twitter-but-these-images-show-he-can-still-muster-huge-crowds/.

[15] “WRAP UP: Ankara on alert after spying on security meeting leaked,” Hürriyet, 27 March 2014: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/wrap-up-ankara-on-alert-after-spying-on-security-meeting-leaked.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64190&NewsCatID=338.

[16] Ralph Boulton, “Ahead of vote, Erdogan paints picture of Turkey besieged by enemies,” Reuters, 27 March 2014: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-turkey-election-idUSBREA2Q0XG20140327.

[17] Tony Cartalucci, “Turkey Vs. Syria: NATO’s Last Gasp?,” New Eastern Outlook, 26.03.2014: http://journal-neo.org/2014/03/26/turkey-vs-syria-nato-s-last-gasp/.

[18] Mimi al Laham, “Leaks Reveal Turkey using ALQaeda for False flag in Syria,” SyriaNews, 27 March 2014: http://www.syrianews.cc/leaks-reveal-turkey-using-alqaeda-false-flag-syria/.

[19] “Turkey vows 'any measures' against Syria threats,” Hürriyet, 26 March 2014: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-vows-any-measures-against-syria-threats.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64135&NewsCatID=338.

[20] “Al-Qaeda Offshoot ISIL, A New Terror Threat For Turkey,” Daily Sabah, 26 March 2014: http://www.dailysabah.com/nation/2014/03/26/alqaeda-offshoot-isil-a-new-terror-threat-for-turkey.

[21] “Turkey’s FM implies espionage from within ministry over Syria leak,” Hürriyet, 28 March 2014: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-fm-implies-espionage-from-within-ministry-over-syria-leak.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64232&NewsCatID=338.

[22] “Gülen-linked pundit detained over leak of key Syria meeting,” Hürriyet, 29 March 2014: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/gulen-linked-pundit-detained-over-leak-of-key-syria-meeting.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64274&NewsCatID=338.

[23] Paul Vale, “Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan Moves To Block YouTube Following Similar Ban On Twitter,” The Huffington Post, 27 March 2014: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/27/turkey-erdogan-youtube-twitter_n_5044280.html.

Turkey’s Pro-Western Imperialism Puppets Accuse Turkish People of Being “Conspiracy Theorists”

Western Influenced & Directed Regime Change Operations are Deemed as a “Conspiracy Theory”

I just finished reading a ridiculous hit piece published at Eurasia.Net accusing the Turkish people of being conspiracy theorists for believing that the imperial US and EU are engaged in schemes towards regime change around the world. According to the article and its sources, one must be ignorant, uninformed, uneducated and a big time conspiracy theorist in order to believe that the US-EU are engaged in political manipulations and regime change operations around the world.

Here is one of the article sources attributing the Turkish people’s distrust of the West to their ignorance, paranoia and conspiracy mindedness:

“Turks love it,” argued Cengiz Aktar, a senior scholar at Sabanci University’s Istanbul Policy Forum, “because they don’t know the world. Turks are very much monolingual. They don’t read newspapers much. They don’t know what the world thinks about them. So, when you don’t know about it, you fear or you invent theories. The majority of Turks love these kind of stories.”

You see, there is no mention of history such as the US-delivered military coup in Turkey or of the US-backed and directed Mullah named Fethullah Gulen. According to the authors of the article and their agenda-driven sources, the latest US-EU produced regime change operations around the world, such as in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, and now in Venezuela, never happened! Seriously!

Contrary to what they claim, Turkish people are extremely involved in political developments. The ignoramus source claims that most Turkish people don’t read newspapers. I tell you what: if they were to survey and compare the number of critical newspaper readers in Turkey with those here in the United States, the ratio would be something like: Turkey: 75%, USA: 20%.

The propaganda source also accuses Turks of being monolingual, thus, ignorant. Are you kidding me? Again, if you were to compare the percentage of Turks fluent in two or more languages with those here in the United States, you’d be asking this guy what he’s high on!

All right, it gets even more bizarre. The authors and their sources engage in this self-fulfilling prophesy to make a point that the Turkish people’s conspiracy theories on Western manipulation of their politics has resulted in a decrease of investment and financial contributions by the West in the country:

Turkey also could be paying an economic cost for the conspiracy theories. “The problem is that the foreign investors are just laughing at this and Turkey is going through a very serious test of creditability,” analyst Aktar said.

Turkey’s net foreign-direct investment (FDI) of $9.6 billion is just over half its level in 2009, The Financial Times reported on February 13.

Okay, let me explain the perverse logic (or actually, lack of logic) here. What is one of the first guns brought out by Western Imperialists when they are faced with a foreign government that is refusing to bow and submit? Right: money guns. Whether it is bribery via IMF, World Bank or military aid, or, strategically (with agenda) made investments, money is one of the first vehicles used to destabilize a government or a regime when the purpose is regime change. So what happens when the Turkish PM flexes his muscles and starts showing an independent streak? Of course: you get US and its European allies showing their displeasure and pressurizing via withdrawing their money: foreign investments in the country, IMF loans, military and humanitarian aid, etc.

Now, Turkish people who read and pay attention to the news and developments around them, Turkish people who observe and witness how governments are being brought down right next to them in their own backyard, Turkish people who have a long experience of Western operations on their soil are called conspiracy theorists and ignorant for believing that the current state of affairs in their nation is largely due to Western-Scripted plots. And to prove the point, the author and his idiotic sources are pointing to Western players withdrawing their money from Turkey and pressuring the country financially!

I totally understand our media here in the United States concocting propaganda filled and false news and analyses. In fact, if you pay attention to the line of reasoning (or lack of), labeling, marginalization and insults in this article, you see solid parallels with those written on 9/11 and civil liberties activists, real government whistleblowers or those who have dared to run as independent candidates without the establishment’s backing. What I don’t understand is the sources in Turkey who have willingly played into the hands of the operatives and joined the imperialist choir in portraying and accusing the Turkish people and their vigilance as being ignorant and being conspiracy theorists. For those of you in Turkey: please find these sources and demand some explanation and accountability.

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Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

Turkey’s Real Corruption Scandal

Turkey & A Surrogate Battle between East & West for the Future of a Pivotal Land at the Geopolitical Crossroads

Since December last year, Turkey has been rocked by a series of arrests and waves of allegations that the government of AK Party Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is riddled with corruption. Erdogan, a scrappy political infighter for all his eccentricities, has fought back and accused “foreign powers” of standing behind his now-arch enemy, former Imam Fethullah Gülen, considered by the US Embassy in Ankara to be the most powerful man in Turkey. What is unfolding across Turkey is far more interesting than your ordinary politician graft scandal. It is an open warfare, not for the future of democracy in Turkey—there is hardly a trace of that. Rather, it is a surrogate battle between East and West for the future of a pivotal land at the geopolitical crossroads between Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The clash domestically inside Turkey is between the Justice and Police versus family and cronies of Erdogan. In reality it is a kind-of surrogate warfare between a faction in Washington of CIA and hard-core Dick Cheney neo-conservatives whose man in Turkey is Fethullah Gülen. Opposed to this formidable team if Erdogan, determined to survive, and an emerging alliance of Iran, China and even Putin’s Russia.

Fethullah Gülen, whose movement spans the globe and also has huge influence inside the German Islamic community. Respected German Islamic scholar, Professor Ursula Spuler-Stegemann of Marburg University, called the Gülen movement, “the most important and most dangerous Islamic movement in Germany. They’re everywhere.“ ("Sie ist die wichtigste und gefährlichste islamistische Bewegung in Deutschland", sagt die Marburger Islamwissenschaftlerin Ursula Spuler-Stegemann. "Sie sind überall.").[1]

In December Turkish police arrested Süleyman Aslan, Direktor of the state-owned  Halkbank, on charges he facilitated some $10 billion dollars of gold-for-oil trade with Iran. [2] Naturally, the neo-conservatives and their AIPAC lobby in the US Congress  are the ones upset at Erdogan’s skirting US sanctions against Iran that they pushed through the US Congress more than a year ago.

Erdogan’s Iran and Chinas Gambit

Now, rather than try to distance himself from Iran and the Halkbank deals, Erdogan has thrown down the gauntlet and traveled to Teheran to firm up a deeper strategic alliance with  Iran. He went there to boost trade and energy ties according to Turkish state TV. The report also mentions that Erdogan wants to repair the strains in Turkish-Iran relations after Turkey supported the attacks on Iran ally, Bashar al Assad in Syria the past two years. Erdogan noted to press after his talks with Khameni and President Rouhani, “It is obvious that we import from Iran crude oil and gas, which are strategic energy sources, and we (will be) able to increase the volume of these imports." Rouhani will also come to Ankara in the next months. Iran was Turkey’s third largest trade partner in 2012 at €16 billion before the latest US sanctions hit the oil trade. [3]

The Israeli intelligence-linked DebkaFile reports that the real reason for Erdogan’s Teheran talks is his, “spiting the Obama administration in the belief of a US plot to replace him with President Abdullah Gul and discredit him by corruption scandals implicating members of his family in sanctions-busting business with Iran through the state-owned Turkish Halkbank.” [4]

The warmer ties with Teheran and Erdogan’s government intersect closer Iran-Russian cooperation. On January 17, Iran’s President, Rouhani extended an invitation for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to meet him in Teheran. Putin replied, “I hope to visit you in Tehran very soon.”

The Erdogan-Iran rapprochement follows a major initiative to forge closer ties with China and the Eurasian Shanghai Cooperation Organization to which Turkey is an Observer. Last October, Erdogan negotiated purchase of a long-range air and missile defense system with China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) over rival bids from Russian, US and European firms.[5] That followed a major trip to Beijing in April 2012, the first by a Turkish Prime Minister in 27 years where billions of dollars of trade deals were signed. Erdogan has also requested full membership in the SCO.

Foreign plot?

That seems not all that exaggerated. In late December as Erdogan was striking back at the Gülenist corruption indictments by firing specific Gülen-loyal judges and purging the national police. At that time US Ambassador to Ankara, Francis Ricciardone, told EU ambassadors in Ankara in the first days of the graft probe that the US had asked Turkey to cut its Halkbank ties to Iran: “We requested the end of the financial ties of Halkbank with Iran. But they didn’t listen. You are watching the collapse of an empire [Turkey],” Ricciardone told the Yeni Şafak newspaper. The following day at an election rally of supporters, Erdogan threatened to expel the US Ambassador for interfering in internal Turkish affairs. [6]

More recently, an unusual OpEd appeared in the Washington Post under the title, “The United States needs to tell Turkey to Change its Course.” In it, the three authors declared, “Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is destroying his country’s parlous democracy.” Further they wrote, “Erdogan has sought to destroy his opponents rather than compromise. After effectively sidelining the military’s political influence, Erdogan went after other centers of power: media, business leaders and civil society; now, the Gülenists, a strong, politically effective community.” [7]

The OpEd was signed by Morton Abramowitz, Eric Edelman and Blaise Misztal. Abramowitz is an alleged CIA operative turned US Ambassador to Turkey. [8] The fact they mention “the Gülenists, a strong, politically effective community,” is no casual affair. In 1998 Gülen, had taken political refuge from Turkish military government charges of treason for attempting to create an Islamic religious state in Turkey. He ended up in all places in the Pennsylvania Pocono hills in a remote estate, heavily guarded by followers.

In 2008, over the strong objections of the FBI, US State Department and Department of Homeland Security, Gülen managed to get a special Green Card and US permanent residency status. It was due to the intervention of Morton Abramowitz and Graham E. Fuller, former Istanbul CIA operative and Gülen supporter. According to former FBI Turkish translator and whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, “Abramowitz, a known neocon, Israel lobbyist, CIA and State Department Operative, and Project on the New American Century signatory, has been one of Fethullah Gulen’s main handlers and backers.” [9]

Indeed, this Abramowitz, CIA, Neocon, Gülen network is precisely the “foreign-steered” network Erdogan accuses of trying to force him out. As one political wag once said to me, “Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they ain’t out to get ya…” Erdogan is putting his finger on the very source of the destabilization and his new enemies in Washington know that only too well. His response is to turn to the very bitter foes of the Washington neocons.

The Turkish political drama is quite different from mainstream western media accounts and far more fascinating for the tectonic shift in global power relations now underway. Erdogan is clearly moving to firm ties with Iran, Assad’s Syria, Russia and China. Those were the very powers he sharply attacked two years ago for the situation in Syria when Erdogan was listening to Washington. Politics indeed sometimes has strange bedfellows. If Erdogan survives the Gülen-US neocon power play, the outlines of a new alignment of power with Turkey-Iran-Syria-Iraq-Russia-China could well emerge. It could form a new Eurasian center of influence to counter the NATO war faction that is backed by Netanyahu’s Likud and elements of the Israeli intelligence community.

# # # #

F. William Engdahl, BFP contributing Author & Analyst
William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order. He is a contributing author at BFP and may be contacted through his website at www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net where this article was originally published.

Endnotes:


[1] Maximilian Popp, Islam: Der Pate, 6 August, 2012, SpiegelOnline, accessed in

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/islam-das-treiben-des-tuerkischen-predigers-fethullah-guelen-a-850649.html

[2] F. William Engdahl, Die dunkle Hand hinter der türkischen Regierungskrise, Kopp-Online.de, 5 January, 2014, accessed in http://info.kopp-verlag.de/hintergruende/europa/f-william-engdahl/die-dunkle-hand-hinter-der-tuerkischen-regierungskrise.html.

[3] Parisa Hafezi, Turkeys Erdogan visits Iran to improve ties after split over Syria, Reuters, January 29, 2014, accessed in http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/29/us-iran-turkey-erdogan-idUSBREA0S11T20140129.

[4] DEBKAFile, Erdogan in Iran to hatch joint plans for striking US interests, DEBKAfile  Exclusive Report  January 29, 2014, accessed in http://www.debka.com/article/23634/Erdogan-in-Iran-to-hatch-joint-plans-for-striking-US-interests.

[5] Reuters, Erdogan says Turkey open to other bids if China missile defense deal fails, October 25, 2013, accessed in http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Erdogan-says-Turkey-open-to-other-bids-if-China-missile-defense-deal-fails-329740.

[6] Today’s Zaman, Erdoğan implies US ambassador could be expelled, 21 December 2013, TODAY'S ZAMAN, accessed in http://www.todayszaman.com/news-334605-erdogan-implies-to-expel-us-ambassador.html.

[7]Morton Abramowitz, Eric Edelman and Blaise Misztal, The United States needs to tell Turkey to change course, January 23, 2014, The Washington Post, accessed in http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-united-states-needs-to-tell-turkey-to-change-course/2014/01/23/3525bf52-7eda-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html.

[8] Sibel Edmonds, Boston Terror CIAs Graham Fuller and NATO CIA Operation Gladio B Caucasus and Central Asia, Boiling Frogs Post, April 27, 2013, accessed in http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/04/27/bfp-breaking-news-boston-terror-cias-graham-fuller-nato-cia-operation-gladio-b-caucasus-central-asia/.

[9]Sibel Edmonds, CIA –Gladio’s Zionist Operatives Urge Obama to Overthrow Erdogan’s Administration, Boiling Frogs Post, January 23, 2014, accessed in   http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/23/cia-gladios-zionist-operatives-urge-obama-to-overthrow-erdogans-administration/