Founder of Sadat and Chief Advisor to the Presidency, Adnan Tanrıverdi, responded to the allegations about SADAT, by Kübra Par's news in Habertürk Newspaper.
Serious allegations were surfaced against the International Defense Consultancy company (SADAT), form a long while. Some suggest that the AK Party has paramilitary power; some say "armed civilians clashed with the military on the evening of 15 July were their ones", some "Decree Law, that brings judicial exemption to civilians was issued for SADAT", and some say "opposition groups in Syria are trained by SADAT, and even they themselves are fighting there". To ask about all these allegations, I met with Mr. Adnan Tanrıverdi, founder of SADAT and Chief Presidential adviser, at SADAT's headquarters in Beylikdüzü. Mr.Tanrıverdi denied the allegations of militia power. The Ideals were to offer military consultancy services to the official armies of Islamic countries, as provided by US companies, but they currently only served with 7 employees in one country. He says that there is not any activity in Turkey. He also clearly opposes the formations such as the People's Special Operations...
THE HEAD OF SADAT, ADNAN TANRIVERDI: THE ARMED ORGANIZATION DIRECTED AT CIVILIANS ARE DANGEROUS, UNACCEPTABLE
‘THERE ARE NOT ANY ACTIVITY OF "SADAT" IN TURKEY ‘
Spot: The claim we have formed militia powers, or we have armed training camps is completely slander! I am just opposite that idea! The armed force of the party or the formation of armed militias is extremely wrong. I am against the basis of the idea of armed militants, except for the official armed forces of the state. In addition, our President makes decisions on the current events with official boards.
Consultants cannot influence this. I am also surprised at these claims, and I even say, “What we could do,”! I am laughing frankly ... Nothing like this is possible. No such thing.With very pure feelings, we wanted to bring to the Islamic countries the experiences of our armed forces. That is all... We also want Islamic countries to be United, which is our Red apple...
What exactly is SADAT? What was the purpose of its establishment? There are many speculations over it...
In July 1996, I was close to complete the fourth year in my rank as brigadier general. I was in the Presidency of the Land Forces Health Department. The Serbian-Bosnian War was just over. In order to support the Turkish union and Bosnian administration in Bosnia, the presidency of general staff formed groups of leaders and visited Bosnia. I was in one of these visits. The head of our Cafila was Lieutenant General Çetin Doğan, Chief of the General Staff, at that time. During a seven-hour journey by military plane, Çetin Doğan Paşa described an incident. An official from a US Special Defense Consultancy company named MPRI "Military Professional Resources Incorporated" came to the Chief of the General Staff and asked the Turkish Armed Forces, active employees, to be given to their company. When asked about the qualification, they said it does not matter. The Turkish General Staff has commissioned an officer to serve in this company. Later, we learned that this company was offered to the late İzzet Begoviç, to establish, train, equip and deliver the Bosnian Army ready to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Begoviç said "if Turkey agreed" we would agree. As a result, the company established the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army, which was mostly armored units, and delivered it to Bosnia and Herzegovina. When we arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we saw that the country has completely hilly and forested structure that is not suitable for the operation of the armored units established. This situation affected me greatly. It was the years when Private Defense Consultancy Companies had just begun to establish. A month after returning from travel, I was retired from the lack of staff. I started to research about these companies. Finally, I found and read the 400-page book by Peter Waren Singer released in 2009 called "Rental Armies - Special Military companies", while I was the Chairman of ASDER. The book, along with MPRI Company, talked about all the activities of the three Private Defense Consulting companies around the world, and what activities they are doing in which countries, with a few paragraphs from each of the 70 US companies. With determination at the time, America had 5 separate defense consulting companies in Saudi Arabia. They have more than $ 5 million in capital and about 1.500 retired military personnel. The Military Advisory Team of about 5-6 thousand people operates in a location close to decision-makers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With such activity, I concluded that Saudi Arabia or another country would not take steps outside the control of America.
According to the book's date of writing, for example, in Saudi Arabia; VINNELL provides training and consulting to the "Saudi National Guard", which protects the regime by taking care of strategic positions. BDM Company provides logistics, training, intelligence, consulting and operations services to the Saudi Army and Air Force. Booz-Allen Hamilton Company is training and managing the Military Academic. The SAIO Company provides support service to the Navy and air defense. O'Gara Company serves to protect the Royal family, to train local security forces, to provide counter-terror and Urban Warfare training. With 70 Private Defense Consultancy Companies serving under the control of the US Department of Defense and the Foreign Affairs ministry, the horror of the matter became apparent when it was not possible for the countries they served to act outside the US' will.
When you realized that, did you say, 'We should build such a company'?
Sure. It is understood that after World War II, Islamic countries need the support of countries with deep-rooted military traditions.
Turkey has deep-rooted tradition of military. They use it to exploit. Therefore, a thought emerged that "For these countries to stay on their feet, let's organize and support our retired soldiers". Under the control of our state, Islamic countries in the former Ottoman Geography should have been given the service they need. While this service was being served, these companies should also be an instrument of our country's foreign policy. We have consulted with ASDER members about the situation and established SADAT International Defense Consultancy Construction, Industry, and Trade Anonymous Company on 28 February 2012. It took time to establish it, and it was not easy to explain it to bureaucracy and the political will.
‘Allegations are completely slanders’
There are very critical allegations about SADAT. The most notable was that İYİ Party Chairman, Meral Akşener, said she was armed training camps in Tokat and Konya. Ümit Özdağ continued this claim saying, "there are armed training camps in 7 provinces, including Kocaeli" and implied that they were related to SADAT. Do you have armed training camps in Turkey? What do you say to these claims?
Totally slander, imagination! These do not have any relevance to SADAT. We do not have any training facilities. Ümit Özdağ said this also in July 2017. A newspaper also had put these claims forward in 2012. We filed a refutation case against that newspaper and won it. They consolidate the claim of a "controlled coup" issued in the USA, and perceived propaganda news as real that was created to wear down our President. Making such a heavy claim to the state is unfit to a political person. As a result of this, a judgment will be made of course.
You indicated that you do not provide individual training on your website. But let me ask again, do you provide military training for civilians?
Such unfounded claims have been in progress since the establishment of SADAT. In fact, if our legislation is carefully reviewed, it is very comfortably understood what SADAT serves. We are dealing with the state bodies of friendly countries and providing consultancy, training, and supply service on an institutional basis following their own legal legislation in their country, under our purpose of establishment. Fabrications outside of this are unsupported and libelous.
"THEY COME TO ME AND SAY 'LET US PROTECT THE PRESIDENT WITH WEAPONS”
How do you look at military structuring against civilians such as the People Special Operations (HÖH)?
I do not know the HÖH. I do not know also if it is in the military structuring or not. But any kind of civilian armed organization is dangerous, not necessary, not appropriate. These cannot be controlled. The state's security forces are sufficient.
In this sense, you do not look favorably on structuring such as HÖH, do you?
Civilian armed organizations cannot be considered as a grant or discernable move. Are not there freak people, of course there are. They come to me and say, "Let's protect the President with weapons.” When I ask why they want something like that, they say the state may not be trusted on its Armed Forces. "So how will you be trusted?” I ask. They think that I also have a militarist structure. When you review, the man has a psychological problem or a missing side, a normal person would not think so! (Laughing) they made very baseless reports about us. They came here and asked “You were the counter-guerrilla center, are not you?” “do you see anything like this when you look at me?” They laughed when I said. The following day, news was published as, "Islamic Gladio center.” This time, “Sir. you were an Islamic Gladio center, is it correct?” they asked. "There are 60 Islamic countries, and I have an organization in each of these countries. I lift my finger, these states are doing a coup, they come to power and take orders from me," I said. When I said that, they laughed again. Unfortunately, they continued publishing such news.
So, how did you become the Advisor to the President? How did you meet Tayyip Erdoğan?
I recognized our President of the Republic, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when he was a candidate for the mayor of Istanbul, and I became the Brigade Commander in Maltepe, Istanbul in 1994. He visited us at the Maltebe Barracks by Mr. Mehmet Sekmen, Mayor of Samandıra. This visit led to friendship over time. I had the opportunity to get to know them better during and after the malicious days of the February 28 Post Modern coup. At the time they need, we had consultations on the topics that I specialized in. During this time, I found that his achievements in politics and state administration have clearly the qualities of courage, foresight, consultation, and determination, which are the most important ones of leadership qualifications. I was invited to become the President's Chief Advisor after a 2016 July 15 betrayer coup attempt. By responding to the invitation, I started this task.
‘They exaggerate ‘SADAT’’.
We saw you as well as MIT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan standing at the "Security Summit", chaired by President Erdoğan on the Afrin operation last week. With which role was you invited to that meeting? AS a founder of SADAT?
I am participating in the "Security Summit" on the subject “Security Policies” as the chief adviser of our president. I attended the summit entitled Afrin in this capacity. We have no actual connection with the Undersecretariat of the MIT.
Well! Does the government, AK Party or Presidency have formal or informal financial support for SADAT?
No, we did not get any support. Such a company was established in Turkey for the first time. When it was founded, everyone looked through and asked, "How come?". Even when we sent the company contract to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the lady reading the paper dropped it from her hand. And when she asked us “where do you get this authorization?” And we said, “What law is there that prevents this? We are building this company according to companies law”. From there it went to the Ministry of Commerce, then to the Ministry of Defense, then to the General Staff. Let them to take action. In fact, the deputy prime minister at that time called us and said, "Ooo pasha, you have set up armies and make weapons. Do we not have armed forces?” I also narrated Bosnia. They listened to us. When they listen, “it is a responsible on my shoulder. I do not set up this company to make money after 70 years of age. I built it as a Zakat of my wealth, and for a mission.
Therefore, ‘This is your delusion. If you say that we, as a state, can stand up, our armed forces can stand in front of those 70 companies, I would leave this responsibility on your shoulders and get out of the door with peace of mind", I said. After that they found out that this was needed. They did research. They were constantly following us. We have nothing illegal.
Who was the deputy prime minister you spoke to?
He was the deputy prime minister, appointed by our President at the time. They summoned us. We went. Three advisers from the separate ministries came and Mr. Bülent Arınç was there. "Is there anything like this in our state tradition?" When we asked, they said, "None". Then when he turned to me, “I have Military background. There are 70 defense companies around the world. I suggested him “As an instrument of our foreign policy, let us establish such companies, control them, and increase their number”. Of course, the state bureaucracy did not understand it quickly, and they said, "You are outside the scope of the Security Laws of Defense Industry Production NO. 5201 and 5202, because you do not produce.” That is why the company said "I don't do anything about it in Turkey. I provide services in the countries in which I serve in a manner that is consistent with their legislation.” We do not have any service in Turkey. We want such companies to provide the training that members of the Armed Forces of those countries receive here, to have training areas for this, and the Ministry of National Defense to control that, but the laws do not allow. We have proposals for changes in two laws, "In Turkey, let it be the Defense Industry Service Sector". After those offers are made, SADAT may be able to create facilities here to provide international training. But now there is no such thing.
That means because there is no legal infrastructure, you cannot provide training to foreigners in Turkey?
Do you have connection with the AK Party?
I have a voluntary voting connection with the AK Party. I am not a party member.
After 15 July, the restructuring was done in the army. Have you made any suggestions in this new structuring of the army, to what extent did the developments parallel those recommendations?
I have been a consultant since August 15th. But I have works, articles on new Constitutional work since 2012. I say, "Internal security and external defense should be separated from each other”. Our defense concept should be "identify threats beyond borders and dispose of them beyond borders again". That is why the only mission of our armed forces must be to prevent external threats. The security issue should be handled internally by our internal security personnel, i.e. the police and the gendarme. Internal security requires the implementation of internal law. Military works are according international law of war.
But according to what you mentioned, the gendarme and the police also must confront the PKK ...
Yes, let the gendarme and police do it. According to the training of the soldier, the facing one is either a friend or an enemy.
If he were an enemy, he would be killed.
So, what is going on from your advice today?
We said, "let the gendarme leave the General Staff", and left. But we have been saying it for 15 years.
Well! Have you met the President or his advisors to take these steps?
No, I am only posted my articles.
So, has the president ever taken steps by listening directly to you?
No, they know my articles I have already posted. They had previously asked to meet with MR Abdullah Gul when he was President, "We are reading Adnan Pasha's articles, we are already reviewing them.”
So, Adnan Bey, I ask again, and there is a claim that you have prepared a party army in line with the ideological line of the AK Party, what do you say?
I am just opposite that idea! The armed force of the party or the formation of armed militias is extremely wrong. I am against the basis of the idea of "having armed militants outside the state's official armed forces". In addition, our President makes decisions on the current events with official boards. Consultants cannot influence this.
Do they exaggerate your power a little?
They exaggerate! I am also surprised, I even say, “What we could do all this,”! I am laughing frankly ... Nothing like this is possible. With very pure feelings, we wanted to bring to the Islamic countries the experiences of our armed forces. That is all... We also want Islamic countries to be United, which is our Red apple...
So why does SADAT raise suspicions? Why is it always at the center of discussions?
The attack on SADAT started across the ocean. Michael Rubin began writing about SADAT from the US. Suat Avni took the instrument of the traitor, FETÖ. Mehmet Eymür also joined the slander. According to the attack came from the USA, the actual activities in Islamic countries disturbed it, so SADAT became the subject of discussion, Since I was recently appointed to the position of Senior Adviser to the President, I and Sadat have been asked to use unfounded allegations to attack our President.
‘THERE ARE NOT ANY ACTIVITY OF "SADAT" IN TURKEY’
Are there activities of SADAT in Turkey and if there is, what?
Do you advise the TAF or the law enforcement agency?
I am saying again. SADAT does not provide consultancy and training to the local security organization, the TAF and any other institutions, organizations, or civil individuals.
Is Sadat only consulting the official armed forces in foreign countries, or do you also do things like creating alternative militia forces and armies?
SADAT is a company established to provide consultancy and training in the field needed by the official armed forces of the countries and to assist in the supply of war weapons, tools, and equipment. There is no mission to support militia force or armed groups in these countries, to overthrow countries, to put them in a difficult situation.
Countries that comply with Turkey's foreign policies are selected.
Alright! How many countries do you serve abroad?
We currently have an activity in one country.
We should not say which one is because they have their own privacy.
What exactly service do you provide foreign countries?
The first issue in defense planning is the assessment of the threat, the second issue is to develop the power against it, and the third issue is the planning of this power to be used against the threat. We are advising the people who need it on this issue at the highest level. Except this, if there are issues that require external training in the defense of their country, it is also within our field of expertise. We send those who are skilled in these matters from retired soldiers to them as consultants or trainers. They are not going to head an armed group, but to provide consultancy on projects within the scope of the state's official armed forces or official defense industry systems.
You say, “We only provide training consultancy to the official armed forces.” But you also provide devices, equipment, I think?
Yes, for example, weapons, tools, and equipment but cannot use it.
We of course, take Turkey as our base. We are working as marketers for the weapons produced by Turkey.
That country comes to us and says what it needs, and we are looking for it in the Turkish market.
Do you procure weapons, supplies and equipment from other countries?
Yes, there may be other countries. For example, we asked South Korea, they were unable to. We also had contact with Ukraine. No other countries.
Well, do you provide the equipment for the Turkish armed forces or to security?
No, SADAT does not provide services and supplies to the TAF and the Police organizations. As I said, we strive to develop the foreign markets of our institutions and to ensure that friendly countries meet their needs in our country standards.
So, what are the legal regulations that you implement to purchase the supplies of weapons, and equipment to foreign countries?
The production circulation of defense industry products is subject to local and international control.
Since the Ministry of National Defense complies with Law No. 5201, 5202, the Chief of Staff is affected by the defense of the country and whether the Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposes a ban on the country concerned under international agreements and this equipment can only be traded with its consent. International supervision is also controlled by UN Security Council resolutions, Geneva Disarmament Contract, and the circulation of defense industrial products in line with agreements between countries. Same provisions apply to SADAT.
SHOULD BE 30-40 MORE COMPANIES LIKE SADAT’
Are there any other companies in Turkey that provide the same services as SADAT?
SADAT is the only mission company in this area, but I think there should be 30-40 more companies like SADAT...
SADAT COMES IN THE MEANING OF MASTERS
Where does the name of SADAT come from, does it has any relevant to Naqshbandi?
No, no relevant. We were looking for shortening to Defense Consulting. When we learned that “SADAT” means “Masters” in Arabic, we said let us put this name.
There are those who claim that Sadat means the President...
It means Masters, not the President.
Do you have any interest in Naqshbandi?
There is a heart bond. I had no relationship with any cults, congregations until I was retired. My father was imam, and he studied in the Uşak school during World War I. I am a person from a religious family. While we were in the Armed Forces, it was out of the question for us to be involved in any activity. But after leaving the Armed Forces, I walked around the congregations and said, "the Coup is coming, and you are in the target of this Coup.” At that time, I knew the congregations.
When you entered for the reportage, the staff kissed your hand. Does this mean something special?
That is culture in the end. I do not want to kiss my hand, I want to look young, but they probably show cheerful respect for old age. I am not the leader of a cult, Mrs. Cubra! (Laughs)
"WE DID NOT HAVE ANY ACTIVITY IN SYRIA”
One of the most allegations claims about SADAT is that you train opposition groups in Syria. Is there any organization of SADAT for the Free Syrian Army or other opposition groups?
No. There was no training or organization activity inside or outside Syria. In 2012, when the Syrian revolution began, they spoke about a colonel named Riad Al-Asaad, one of the founders of the Free Syrian Army, in the refugee camp in Hatay, so we went to visit him. The reason for our visit was that Turkey saw the massacres by the regime as a threat. Opposition in Syria was messy. There was no Free Syrian Army yet and we had talks for the organization of an opposition there. We have communicated all our discussions in a report to the relevant levels of the state. During our meetings with Riyad al-Assad, he said, "There are soldiers who have defected from the regime. These soldiers will join us, but their families are there. If we can provide f the livelihood of families, we can quickly organize the Syrian opposition through these people. If we pay each family $100 salary, they will join us. We need around $25 per month in support of money”.
Did they ask you for anything other than money?
They asked for weapons, supplies. We have recommended that if they want to bring Syria into a democratic order independently, they will not be dependent on external countries, and they will provide their weapons from the regime's own warehouses.
What was the result of that interview?
They came to Istanbul. The Muslims Brotherhood was the political wing of the resistance at that time. But the two did not agree with each other. As we continued, SADAT took this offer to the authorities, but we did not get a positive response.
That is, the Turkish government has rejected the financial assistance they have requested.
It did not reject, did not care. Then Riyadh al-Assad moved to Syria. They bombed his car there and lost his leg, it fell into a passive state. Apart from that, there was no such situation as supporting any opposition group.
Is this the only attempt by SADAT related to Syria?
Yes, that is it.
Did SADAT assist any group in Syria or were SADAT members involved in an operation in Syria?
No. We have interviews with Riad Al-Asaad while he was staying in a refugee camp in Turkey. Apart from that, there was no such situation as supporting any opposition group. The delegations came to Turkey related to defense, also meet with SADAT after they hold their official talks. There have been requests for a meeting like this.
With which groups?
I cannot remember it now, because there are many groups. Those who know us, those who seek a branch to hold us in, want to discuss in the hope that we will help. These interviews are only to convey their demands to us.
"FSA DOES NOT HAVE THE FINANCING POWER IN EXCHANGE FOR THE SERVICES OF SADAT” I will ask from another perspective.
Turkey is conducting a joint operation with the FSA. There, opposition groups may need support. Why did SADAT not provide educational consultancy to the groups that Turkey has collaborated on there?
SADAT is a commercial company that receives and sells services. Its aim is the mission, not profit. Therefore, when it gives the service, it must get the wage in return. Those groups do not have such payment opportunities. If it were, we would have trained the Free Syrian Army with the availability of Turkey. They are not strong enough to finance it. We have completely carried this out to the government at that time as a project, "they need such training. If Turkey supports this training, we will make this group to fight the regime in 1 year. Turkey will bring it back in 6 months if it supports it. Either support it formally or give us the opportunity, we will support it,” we said. However, at that time, SADAT did not have an active and operational activity in Syria other than the type of consultation I have mentioned.
Do you say, “I wish they had supported”?
It was then much more recent. These events happen in 2012. 2012 was not yet a time when America, Russia, or global powers could put their actors into the region. Of course, they are now acting in the region so that some armed opposition groups have efforts to turn money into their own recourse. So if Turkey had previously established a relationship with the FSA, it would not have reached this suffering, so much no blood would flow, and the world's route would not be translated there and I would believe that everything would have been concluded sooner.
Have you had any activities in countries like Libya and Chechnya that witnessed internal conflict?
We have never had any activities in Chechnya. In the second half of 2013, a delegation composed of Sadat members met twice, The first time, in Tripoli with the Commander of the 2nd Infantry Regiment Colonel Fiturî Caliph Salim Giribil in the strong soldiers of the revolution, the second time, with the General Manager of Mechanical Electrical Products (MEM) Group of Companies, Dr. Salem K. Adweb. Representatives of these two institutions have visited SADAT in Turkey twice. As a result of these conversations 2. The construction of a world-class pentathlon sports facility at the infantry lament barracks, A separate "Goodwill Protocol" was signed to make one of the four military factories based in the MEM Group, which we have been deployed in detail in four separate regions for sports clubs between Libya and the TAF, a separate "Goodwill Protocol" was signed to make it a center for Tank and Armored Vehicle Maintenance - Repair and modernization for the Libyan Land Forces. The Pentathlon project has been prepared. SADAT formed a delegation of 10 technical staff to go to Tripoli to determine the status of the modernization, maintenance and repair center, but the third departure, following the news received, he had to stop it six hours before the departure. In August 2013, a counter blow by former major General Khalifa Hafter in Benghazi has led to a destabilization of Libya. There have been changes to the military and civil will, and the SADAT-Libya projects have not taken place.
In Yemen, with a delegation formed under my presidency, in the second half of September 2012, we visited the strong man of the Yemeni revolution, Major General Ali Muhsin Al Ahmar, and gave a briefing about the educational skills of SADAT that they may need. They said they aspire for education but would not be able to cover its expenses, Turkey would accept to finance them. The offer was not attractive to government officials in Turkey, so contact with Yemen also lost. If our government and its leadership were to be delivered Libya, Syria, and Yemen at the time, so much blood would not have spilled, and the chaos and instability in these countries would not continue until now.
WE DON'T HAVE ORGANIZATION AND SERVICE LIKE MERCENARY ARMY’
How many staff do you have, what are their ranks?
I evaluate that this question is one of the wrong questions that are asked to commercial companies. Staff is formed for whatever a project requires, and the work continues with that staff. These are the numbers, ranks and capabilities that can provide consultancy in the field of defense and security. However, we do not have organization and service like mercenary army either inside or outside.
Well, in the past, there have been reports that you have employed your members with a salary of 5 thousand dollars. How does SADAT provide financing?
SADAT had a capital and had to increase this capital in 2015. Because you have an expense, but you do not have an income for a long time. It is important to be able to stay that way. In the beginning, we said to our shareholders “It is not a profit organization, it is a mission Become a partner with an amount of capital that you will not be sad about losing.” Friends do not expect income from this place either. After all, that amount will be the money that we will give to the qualified people who we send at any time the country needs. We will take that money from the other side.
ON THE NIGHT OF JULY 15, NONE OF SADAT'S MEMBERS CAME OUT TO SQUARES IN AN ARMED WAY.
Especially after July 15, there are allegations of establishing civilian armament and training units. Is there a relationship with SADAT? Or even do you have any notes about this kind of structuring?
No. With the experience of July 15, there is a thought that civil society should be more organized, but not with weapons. There have been discussions in civil society organizations about how to organize better when such an event occurs.
Well, as a President's advisor, are you involved in such a non-governmental organization?
No. When I was in civil society, I was in it. For example, we had a platform called Fundamental Rights and Freedoms in 2008 and about 17 NGOs were members of it. At that time, the April 27 memorandum was given, there were rumors of a coup. At that time, we held meetings with those on that platform about every week. In these meetings, we decided if there was a coup, and if the coup plotters say, "Don't go out on the street", we would go out into the streets. And if the coup plotters say, go out to the streets, we will not go out. We will take up the coup barracks when we go out”. When we declared this, the Land Military Academy was a drill about how to take measures if civilians occupied the barracks.
Well, did SADAT influence in organizing civilians on July 15, or that night did SADAT members went out to the streets with weapons in their hands?
On the night of 15 July 2016, we, as a citizen, did not have any actions or statements other than expressing an individual reaction against the coup and saying "Follow the call of our President" to friends and relatives who asked, "what to do".
Did the retired soldiers who were members of SADAT take weapons at the night and join the armed resistance?
No, it was definitely not. None of SADAT members went out to squares in an armed way.
Don't we normally expect them to come out as a reflex? You are a retired soldier, and you are against the coup. There is a coup, wouldn't you like to take your gun and get out?
No. No one came out with his weapon. Only those who went out to the streets made individual initiatives by intervening in the people around or to the soldiers across their military experience.
Well, on the night of July 15, what did you do when you learned there was a coup?
That evening I was at my summer home in Marmara Ereğlisi. I learned about the coup around 10.30, 11. I started listening to the radio, television. I thought how I would come from there to Istanbul. I have statements targeting the coup plotters as follows: "They are traitors, their heads are in America. They cannot act beyond their control”. Also, I have learned that I am on the death list. I stayed there until the situation became clear, and then I passed to Istanbul. When the President of the Republic summoned us, they asked some friends "What shall we do?” I told them, “follow the call.”
You said that after the April 27 memorandum, you had meetings about the occupation of the barracks by civilians. Did you have influence/suggestions in strategic moves such as the resistance of civilians against the coup plotters on the night of July 15, or the withdrawal of municipal trucks in front of the barracks?
It did not happen, because that night it developed very quickly. But reports came that "they are collecting the members of the AK Party in the city center.” So, they were organized themselves.
Let me ask the question from another side. Were there any wrongs you saw in civil resistance on the night of July 15?
The coup is a crime, an organized operation, and the use of state facilities is outside the will of the nation. When such a power emerges, the nation may not have other power to prevent it except its own. It may be more systematic than July 15. Instead of people walking enthusiastically on the tank, if people who go to the tank consciously; know how to open the tank are organized, where to get into the tank, and be prepared to provide sanitary first aid to injured civilians, then the civil society resistance becomes more effective. That night everyone went under the tank and went on top of it. There were people crushed by the tank. First aid for those who are injured is delayed. They walked on the fire. That community could have been more planned. They did not have leaders.
Well, should there be something like this against a subsequent coup attempt?
Yes, should be. July 15 was not just a deterring of coup plotters in Turkey; the world was given the message "If you use any actual military force in Turkey, and if Turkey does not have military power, then the people can stop them". This is a great counter-message. It is understood by those who understand it. In this regard, such action is not possible as long as the armed forces and security services remain under the will of the people. Security services prevent this immediately.
What would be the impact of this civilian resistance against armed soldiers without weapons?
It would be better as on July 15. The one we are facing is also a son of this country, there must be psychological steps to speak to him. "What should say that soldier will leave his weapons out of his hands?" It should be thought. Even if these words are spoken, they are a great preparation.
‘SADAT COULD BE A COMMON DEFENSE ALLIANCE BETWEEN ISLAMIC COUNTRIES’
Why does the mission of SADAT cover Islamic countries in particular? Are you Islamicist?
The place where we call the Islamic geography covers North Africa, and there are about 28 Islamic countries. There are so many Islamic countries in Asia and 4 countries in Europe. With its center of gravity geographically covering North Africa and Central Asia, we define it here as either “Afrasia” or “Asrika”, or Eurasia’s alternative, geography. This geography is the Ottoman geography. As a result, we have a minimum 400-year history union, as well as a religious and cultural union. In today's polarized world, there is an exploitation order. If there will be a justice system in the face of this, a force must emerge. The area of this power is this geography, and its inhabitants are the Islamic world. Thus, Turkey needs a wide area and a base in terms of implementing its policies. This also could be with the alliance. Turkey could not enter the European Union for 60 years due to its belief. A political structuring where Christian faith is dominated at some point. Turkey must also support an alliance or a union in accordance with its history, current situation, culture.
Why do you not see the whole world as a market, but especially in Islamic countries?
When you travel and walk around, you see that Turkey's perspective is very different; there are countries that will accept Turkey in their structure, and there are countries that will not. For example, the European Union has not yet accepted it. Today, America has 139 military bases worldwide. We have first, second, third armies, but they are not like that; they have the Command of the Central Forces of Europe, the Command of the African Forces, the Command of the far Eastern Forces, the Command of the Asian Forces. They have forces there and they stand with the land, sea, air elements there. It needs them to control the world. They also need to keep the country's governments under pressure to need them. When the governments have escaped this pressure, they will unite around Turkey as they gain their own freedoms. This is my way of thinking from my military life until today. This is the main topic of ASSAM, the research center we established. We established SADAT for that. SADAT could be a common defense alliance between Islamic Countries This is the ideological mission of SADAT. We are also working on the possibility of a common defense industry production. "We need to take this need to the official armed forces of these countries," we thought.
How do you look at Turkey's membership in NATO?
NATO included Turkey to benefit from it. From the Caucasus or Thrace after World War II, Turkey entered as a defense group under threat from the then Soviet Socialist Republican Union. But when we look at it in concrete terms, NATO has no more than just a pseudo, it sends a symbolic brigade when there is a threat to Turkey. If any military action had been undertaken from the Caucasus to Turkey in the past, NATO would have supported us in our own territory. It is not possible to open a new front via Germany or another NATO country and take an initiative to protect us. Thus, Turkey has seen the benefit of NATO for some time. This also had its shortcomings. If we were not a NATO member, we could have done all our domestic defense industry ourselves. But when we became a NATO member, we had to buy our weapons from the United States or other countries under the presence of military aid, which prevented us from developing. For example, after the Cyprus Operation, our defense industry has become a little more nationalized. And lately, it is more focused on this. If a country is not independent in the defense industry, it is not fully independent. In that respect, our absolute defense industry must be national. The guarantee of peace is the armed force. If you do not have an armed force, you can't be fully powerful, whether you are economically or politically powerful. We also need to focus on this field. When we focus on capital and the market, they will be important to us. Islamic countries now have 20 thousand tanks, 2,000 fighter planes, and nearly 2,000 ships, which they have received from global forces.
"ASDER MEMBER 3-4 RETIRED OFFICERS WORK IN THE TAF”
When and why did you leave the TAF? Are there any claims that you have been removed because you were carrying out reactionary activities?
At the end of the four-year brigadier general waiting period from the TAF, I was transferred to retirement for lack of staff. However, there were some incidents in my retirement process. I was the commander of a distinguished armored brigade in Maltepe, Istanbul, between the years 1992-1995. In February 1995, at a meeting of the Corps Commander to which the Major General and the leaders of the other brigades belonged, the decision taken by the Supreme Military Conference in December 1994 to give one paper to each person was delivered. On the paper given to me, “The officers and non-commissioned officers whose names are written below, are working in reactionary activities. These staff will be alerted to abandon their activities. "Dismissal from TAF will be made for those who do not comply with the warning, the same action will be taken for superiors who do not execute the order" was writing. There were 14 non-commissioned officers and 4 officers. As it turned out that some of these people were praying and others were their wives covering their heads according to Islamic instructions. The military discipline, knowledge, and skill of that personnel nature, their training, shooting, sports, and combat readiness; the condition of care of the equipment, weapons, and equipment; the maintenance and cleaning of buildings and facilities in their responsibilities were at an exemplary level.
In the face of this situation, by putting pressure on the beliefs of my personnel, I would have to arrange a registry for the expulsion of those who did not comply with the warning from the TAF. Or I would like to show my will to protect the rights of my personnel. I chose the second way. I sent my opinion to my senior commanders, who said that the personnel charged had not done any objectionable activity, that they were soldiers of their homeland, nationalities, and that they were working and exemplary, and that the right to them should be lifted. In the qualification document by the petition for registration for the military academy exams about the specifications information that I added, "Is there a capacity for representation for his wife?” My answer was “Yes” even though his wife was veiled.” The head of the relevant department in the Land Forces Command stated by phone wanted me to change the relevant article of the commander's qualification certificate, referring to this certificate of qualification. I have also informed, that I cannot change it. A few months after this incident, the Turkish Land Forces Command came to supervise my Brigade. My unit was found on every side without any flawless. However, the Land Forces Commander personally said, “Adnan Pasha, I do not take the officer whose wife is veiled into the academy. I sent the commanders of similar specification information and they changed. You did not change it," he said. After this incident and entering my fourth year with the rank of brigadier general, I was appointed head of the health department in the land forces. After completing my fourth year with the rank of brigadier general, I was referred to retirement due to the lack of staff.
What did you do after you retired?
By being retired from the Brigadier General, I had a lot of experience in terms of the places I worked. I considered that if I lived my life while getting my retirement salary, I would waste my life and it would be a betrayal of my country that gave me this experience. I began writing articles about my protection of soldiers during my service and about the influence of the military on politics. I supported the Association of Advocates of Justice, "ASDER", which was established by some fighters representing 1632 officers and non-commissioned officers expelled from the TAF due to injustices that I personally witnessed. I was the president of this association between 2004-2009 and 14. In 2011, I founded “ASSAM” the Association of Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center, “SADAT” the International Defense Consultancy, Construction Industry and Trade Defense, and “YUSDER” the Yunus Nature Sports Association club. I have also participated in consulting bodies of roof NGOs such as IDSB and TGTV and have worked on some idea within the Civil Society to ensure that the nation will be in all state institutions.
Are there any of the soldiers who were expelled from the army in the 28 February period after the Western Working Group's work, affiliated to SADAT?
Sure, almost everyone.
The return route was opened for retired officers to the Turkish Armed Forces after the decree was issued by the KHK last year. Are there any people returning to the army with this KHK from your members?
There are 3-4 friends. They were taken because we were a reference for them. They were involved in interview commissions.
Can we say that soldiers close to your ideologies are in a sensitive position in terms of securing their entry into the army?
200 people were taken, 3-4 ASDER members included. They are serving as civilians, not armed. Approximately 30 commissions are establishing in each exam. There are only 3-4 members within this commission, they are also names for retired on their own, NOT from AGE decisions or from indiscipline.
‘HULUSİ AKAR WAS MY STUDENT’
A report last week claimed that the SADAT delegation visited the Chief of General Staff 1 month after the 15 July coup attempt. It was claimed that The President of the Republic personally requests SADAT's visit to the General Staff, that Akar, the Chief of General Staff, did not find the meeting appropriate and assigned Salih Ulusoy, who met with the delegation not in his office but in the garden to prevent any disturbance in the Headquarters. Are these correct?
As ASDER, not SADAT, not one month after July 15, but on January 17, 2016, in response to our request for an appointment, we visited our President at his residence in Kısıklı. The main reason for the visit was to ensure that some soldiers who were victimized in the process of February 28, 1997, supported the law proposal we prepared to eliminate their grievances. They accepted our delegation. They listened to our proposal in detail. We also presented our proposed law on "the creation of the defense industry service sector". They found both appropriate. The President of the Republic of Turkey announced that it would notify our Prime Minister and Chief of General Staff of the matter and that it is appropriate for us to pass the proposal to the Assembly through the Turkish Grand National Assembly. We did so. Nearly 2 months later, the Chief of General Staff invited our mission to the Planning Principles of the General Staff, in response to the appointment we requested from our Chief of Staff in January. We responded to the visit at the beginning of March 2016.
The claims about the location of the visit to the news that you mentioned are also wrong. We were accepted in the meeting room next to his authorities. Then he took us to the Military Protocol dining hall for lunch. Then, we have a law with our Chief of General Staff Mr. Hulusi Akar. While I was a training member of the Military Academy, Hulusi Pasha completed his academic education. We also have rights based on teacher-student relationships with them. I think that after July 15, the meeting took place on July 25, 2016, at the invitation of the President of the Republic, to consult the cause of our military identity regarding the evaluation of the coup attempt..