In an interview with Muslimpress.com, Joaquin Flores discusses the Turkey's coup and Washington's involvement in the coup.
Here's the full text of the interview:
MP: Are there enough evidence and facts to say that the United States was involved in the attempted coup in Turkey?
Joaquin Flores: Yes, now that we are a few weeks out, and have been able to check out all of the reports which began to immediately surface in the first few hours and days of the coup attempt, I can say with as much certainty as I'll ever have that the US was directly involved in the coup in Turkey. This had support of the NATO command at the highest level in Turkey. Of course, former Air Force Commander General Akın Öztürk has been described as the ringleader of the failed coup, and this accusation seems warranted. He is a person most trusted by the US and Israel.
There are a lot of ways to approach interpreting the facts and evidence, from the actual first words of the US establishment, spoken in the language of coup support 'continuation and stability', to the direct testimony of eye witnesses, specific people in the Turkish command who are closest to Israel and NATO, to compelling circumstantial evidence as well.
The three most important regiments which participated in the coup were part of Turkey's 'NATO Rapid Deployable Corps'. A lot of regular citizens in Istanbul, (we recall the closing of roadways), took pictures of the military vehicles, mostly troop transports. And the registration plates on these military vehicles, show that they belonged to the 2nd Armoured Brigade, which is stationed in the Istanbul district of Kartal, and the 66th Mechanised Infantry Brigade, which is based in Hasdal, together with the 6th Regiment.
MP: How do you analyze Fethullah Gulen’s role in the failed coup?
Joaquin Flores: The Gulen cult is used in Turkey in a similar way that the US uses religious cults and sects within the US military and diplomacy, like 7th Adventist, Jehovah's Witness, the Mormons, to create certain divisions of operation, based upon fealty to these beliefs. Gulen was the most preferred method of organizing US assets within Turkey - not just within the military, as NATO itself is able to organize many of these elements alongside Gulen - but also in civil society, courts, police, and other administrative-civilian areas of governance and power within Turkish society. As we know, Gülen lives in Pennsylvania and cooperates with US intelligence agencies. He is known as a major opponent of Erdogan, even though before they worked together.
It is clear now that the dust has settled that Gulen's network acted on orders from the US. The US's need to take a decisive action was clear once Kemalists with connections to the military, like Dogu Perincek, pushed the issue of radically accelerating Turkey's rapprochement with Russia and Iran, and this pushed to the fore the matter of withdrawing from NATO.
The reality is that Gülen’s structure infiltrated all the way up to the very top of the government and intelligence services. Erdogan understood the danger of this sect, but lacked any pretext to act in a decisive way. And because of the Gulen-US influence in Turkey, taking a piecemeal approach would not work. Also, some of the Gulen assets would not be clearly known until the actual coup attempt.
MP: Two top U.S. generals have been accused of being involved in the coup. What’s your take on this?
Joaquin Flores: We need only look specifically at one of these two in order to understand the dynamics of the coup. The fact remains that US General John F. Campbell was the primary organizer of a coup d'etat in Turkey, on orders from a structure in Washington. We must remember that the July 25th edition of the Turkish daily Yeni Safak, generally considered favorable to President Recep Erdogan's AKP party, also reported that General John F. Campbell was the U.S. commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan. However, the fact that Yeni Safak reported this, is not sufficient. But it does reinforce clearly that the official position of Ankara is that the US supported the coup.
Setting aside all other facts, this fact alone speaks volumes. Even if the US was not involved in the coup, the fact that Ankara would use this as a 'pretext' to weaken (or even cut) ties with Washington speaks tremendously about Turkey's planned new orientation.
Substantively, let's recall that Turkish generals Cahit Bakır and Şener Topçu who backed the coup were detained in Dubai airport. Both of these men worked with Campbell in Afghanistan, leading the Turkish contingent within NATO's structure.
MP: Does it show American involvement in the coup?
Joaquin Flores: Indeed it does, however the facts I've just discussed are not the only clues in the Turkish coup plot which directly points to NATO. In order to better, or rather more clearly, demonstrate the American involvement in the coup, we have to more closely examine certain facts.
What is obviously not a coincidence is the fact that the same coup participants stationed at the Turkish Air Force, were the most NATO-integrated structures of the Turkish Military. The Incirlik Air Base, where the US military is based, was used by the coup plotters to launch the now infamous attacks on the Turkish parliament. General Bekir Ercan Van was arrested by forces loyal to Erdogan, and after which he sought asylum from the United States. In the aftermath of the coup, the power was cut to the base by forces loyal to Erdogan, and a no fly order was put into effect for US military aircraft in the area. Also, we have to include that on July 30th the base was surrounded by Turkish troops in order to thwart the possibility of a second coup attempt.
The role of US media and official statements in the first minutes of the coup attempt is critical. We cannot look at the official US statements after it was clear that the coup was failing, even there here too there are some clues, concerns about 'human rights' and so forth, coming from pro-NATO media in the EU and US. Instead, I refer again to Kerry's first statements about 'continuation' and 'order', which is the US language for supporting a coup, or legitimizing a government. From the start, there was a Western media campaign to spread disinformation, that President Erdogan had fled the country.
For example, the American news network , NBC, cited a high ranking US military as the source of their claims that the coup had succeeded and that Erdogan had fled the country. This corroborates claims that the US military was directly involved in a disinformation campaign during the most critical early minutes and hours of what eventually prove to be a failed coup attempt.
Also what is so apparent here is the fact that the majority of those arrested after the coup attempt were people related to the NATO structure. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, spoke at a forum on security organized by the Aspen Institute last month, and here he declared - as quoted in the July 28th edition of Bloomberg, that after the coup "many of our interlocutors have been purged or arrested".
But it doesn't end there. Curtis Scaparrotti, the present NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, was also quoted in the same edition of Bloomberg and also the Washington Examiner on July 29th, as confirming all of this, in saying that:
"Some of the officers that we have our relationships with in Turkey are now either detained, in some cases retired as a result of the coup"
It is only rational for us to take these as the closest to an admission from the very top brass of NATO itself, that they had at the very least favored or supported the coup. Now, it is only logical, given NATO's relationship to Turkey and their assets, that this was more than 'support'. This was a NATO initiative, and the circumstantial evidence I've discussed so far only points in that direction.
MP: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey’s coup script was written abroad. Do you agree with him?
Joaquin Flores: All the facts I've discussed so far clearly point in that direction quite conclusively. There aren't any facts I've left out which can point in any other direction. No one can credibly talk about the known facts, which don't point directly to Gulen and Washington. And no one can credibly dismiss the known intimate connection between Gulen and Washington.
MP: What Western countries could have been involved in the coup? US President Obama has denied Washington’s involvement in the coup. What’s your take on his denial?
Joaquin Flores: While NATO is a multi-national force of the US and its transatlantic 'partners', all the evidence so far points just to the US parts of NATO.
Of course Obama has denied involvement in the coup. The US always denies these things, not matter how obvious. The same is true of nearly any accused criminal. There's really nothing more to say, but still it's an interesting question. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my views and assessment of the Turkish coup.