by F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook:
The Office of the Istanbul Prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for two “former” CIA agents, accusing them of involvement in the failed July 2016 coup attempt against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. US media and various Washington think-tanks have dismissed the charges as “implausible” and a “likely tit-for-tat” response of Erdogan for the arrest by US authorities of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader accused of violating US sanctions against Iran. Clearly is there is far more behind the accusations than is being said so far.
On December 1, Turkish prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Graham E. Fuller, former head of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council and former CIA head of Middle East and East Asia operations. The warrant claims Fuller was in the vicinity of Istanbul the night of the coup attempt at a meeting with another top “former” CIA person, Henri Barkey. It claims both CIA veterans were meeting at the five-star Splendid Hotel on the island of Büyükada some 20 minutes boat ride from Istanbul.
What’s notable about the charge is the degree of involvement of Fuller with the reclusive Turkish cult leader, Fetullah Gülen, now in exile at an estate in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania since he was forced to flee Turkey in 1998 to escape trial for treason against the state.
“One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam…”
In July, 2016, less than a week after Erdogan accused the vast Turkish network of Gülen for being behind the coup, of using a network of senior military officers who had been recruited into the Gülen organization, Fuller wrote for Huffington Post a fulsome praise of Gülen titled, “The Gulen Movement Is Not a Cult; It’s One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today.” In it Fuller wrote, “I believe it is unlikely that Gulen was the mastermind behind the dramatic failed coup attempt against Erdogan last week…” Fuller goes on to admit he formally backed granting Gülen special US visa status in 2006: “Full disclosure: It is on public record that I wrote a letter as a private citizen in connection with Gülen’s US green card application in 2006 stating that I did not believe that Gülen constituted a security threat to the US…”
Fuller’s “full disclosure” then however omits the fact that it was not merely a casual letter of recommendation to a man Fuller claimed he had met only once. Fuller’s endorsement of Gülen’s Green Card application was so influential that he managed to override the no votes of the FBI, of attorneys for the US State Department and Homeland Security. In the Gülen hearings, State Department attorneys stated, “Because of the large amount of money that Gülen’s movement uses to finance his projects, there are claims that he has secret agreements with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkic governments. There are suspicions that the CIA is a co-payer in financing these projects.”
Gülen in NATO’s Gladio
The ties between Fetullah Gülen and the CIA go way back to the 1980’s when Gülen was recruited to be active in a Turkish right-wing NATO “Gladio” network codenamed Counter-Guerrilla. Gülen broadcast over the CIA’s Radio Free Europe into the Islamic regions of the Soviet Union.
Counter-Guerilla members were responsible for a series of far-right terrorist attacks in Turkey and facilitated a bloody US-backed 1980 military coup. Indeed, in a little slip, in his July 2016 defense of Gülen, Fuller writes in praise about Gülen that, “He even felt compelled to support the military takeover of the state in 1980 in order to preserve the state…”
That US-instigated 1980 coup, as Fuller well knows, established a military dictatorship under General Kenan Evren in which 650,000 people were detained, 230,000 people trialed, all political parties, unions and foundations were closed, 171 were killed under custody, hundreds of thousands people were tortured, and thousands are still missing. A former senior US intelligence official later reported that as the 1980 coup was underway, then President Jimmy Carter was informed by an aide who said, “Our boys have done it.” And Gülen, the peaceful Muslim, endorsed that brutal CIA coup.
Gülen and CIA English Teachers
In the post-Soviet chaos of the 1990’s in Central Asia the CIA used Gülen and his moderate Islam image to build one of their most extensive networks of subversion reaching across the entire so-called Turkic region of former Soviet Central Asia including Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and even into the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China, where ethnic Uyghurs have been recruited via Turkey to wage terror in Syria in recent years.
In 2011, Osman Nuri Gündeş, former head of Foreign Intelligence for the Turkish MIT (the “Turkish CIA”) and chief intelligence adviser in the mid-1990s to Prime Minister Tansu Çiller, published a book that was only released in Turkish. In the book, Gündeş, then 85 and retired, revealed that, during the 1990s, the Gülen schools then growing up across Eurasia were providing a base for hundreds of CIA agents under cover of being “native-speaking English teachers.” According to Gündeş, the Gülen movement “sheltered 130 CIA agents” at its schools in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan alone. The CIA “teachers,” he added, submitted reports to an arm of the Pentagon.
Gülen’s organization had been active in destabilizing newly-independent Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union from the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, when the nominally Muslim Central Asian former Soviet republics declared their independence from Moscow. Gülen was named by one former FBI authoritative source as “one of the main CIA operation figures in Central Asia and the Caucasus.”
Who is G. Fuller?
Even Fuller himself admits that the Gülen organization had some two million members in Turkey on the eve of the July 2016 coup. They had systematically infiltrated and largely controlled national policy, the judiciary, national education and the military. Moreover, Fuller’s CIA associate, Henri Barkey, also under arrest warrant, admitted following the failed coup that he had been in the Istanbul area the night of the coup.
Apparently Turkish authorities now have evidence that Fuller was also there and reportedly flown out of Istanbul across the border to safety in Greece as it became obvious the coup was failing. The Istanbul prosecutor’s office reportedly determined that Fuller had direct contact with former CIA official Henri Barkey and other suspects involved in the coup attempt. Both Barkey and Fuller, who both co-authored a book on Turkey titled Turkey’s Kurdish Question, are accused of organizing a meeting at Splendid Hotel in Büyükada, a 20 minute boat ride from Istanbul on the day of the coup in July 15 2016.
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