A former NATO officer of Turkey, interviewed by Vocal Europe, has said he/she does not feel safe in his/her place in Belgium as spying activities by the government supporters as well the Turkish intelligence agency has extended to Europe in the recent past.

Asked if he/she feels insecure in where he/she lives in Belgium, the former officer responded positively backing up his concerns with recent incidents.

I think that there is a possibility for it. Recently, Turkey passed a law that gave permission for the intelligence agency to conduct operations in other countries. So there is a chance. Thus I cannot take any chance for the security of myself and my family. Taking into account that pro-Erdogan people living in Europe are easy fits to Turkish Intelligence to gather info, I try to organize my life as appropriate for not to take any chances. I also know that some Turkish Military senior officials have provided Turkish General Staff a list of officers who applied for asylum in Belgium.”

“There are some instances which happened recently, that fortify my feeling. The attempted house-search of a former defence attaché by Turkish ambassador, the information collection activities of various Turkish Government bodies in Europe are good reasons to feel insecure to some extent,” he/she added.

According to the officer, three types of people involved in the coup attempt.

“First; a very small group who initiated the coup attempt and stepped aside afterwards. This is the group that masterminded the coup plot. Judging by who benefited from the coup attempt; this group included Ultranationalists (Perinçek Group), and those with ties to Erdogan regime or were simply bought off. Secondly, those who believed that the coup was being done in chain of command so obeyed the orders. This included seculars and other Erdogan opponents, who were aware of the widely circulated purge lists and thus might have felt relieved by what they thought was a coup in chain of command. The secular elite had too much with the Erdogan’s policies. And finally third, those who saw it as an opportunity to rise in the ranks. Those simply, did not care too much whether it was done in chain of command or not, but saw it as an opportunity to rise in the ranks.”

The officer who joined Turkish Military in 1985 and later got master’s degree in the United States, stated that after the coup attempt, his NATO assignment was cancelled, and he was among the 270 other officers abroad who have been recalled to Turkey for “judicial investigation”.

“I was in Belgium at the time of the coup. There is no evidence of any Turkish officers in Belgium or abroad getting involved. But when I saw that first 17 officers who returned were detained and treated badly, I decided to wait until there is rule of law in the country I have served for many years.”

The officer said that he was dismissed from the military with a decree issued by the Turkish gov’t in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

“Since the “coup-fiction”, more than 4000 soldiers got sacked from the army, air force, navy, gendarmerie and coastguard. Total number of those got sacked in post-coup purge reaches at 124.000. Around 89.000 detained, and 43.000 arrested. I am not sure whether the government has got any legal and valid evidence to blame all those people for involving coup attempt in some way.”

According to the purged officer, it is not a coincidence that Eurasianists replaced the pro-western cadre for the prominent roles in the armed forces especially by the hands of Perinçek Group.

“It explains why 150 of 300 generals/admirals were sacked after the coup attempt, despite very small amount of forces involved (2-3 companies, couple tanks, less than 10 fighters, couple ships). In fact if 150 generals were to really conspire for coup, 400 000 strong armed forces would definitely be successful. While pro-NATO and pro-Western military staff were eliminated by means of unlawful practices, empty slots were filled by personnel who stick to the idea that Turkey’s destiny must be linked to Eurasia rather than the West. Turkey, as a member of NATO, is now under the influence of those who opts for Russia-Iran-China triangle vis-a-vis NATO and EU option, which endangers regional stability in the mid-term.”

The officer also says that he does not believe the allegations that the Gulen movement orchestrated the attempt as there are not many Gulenists in armed forces.

“I am not a Gulenist. Erdogan blamed Gulenists for the simple reason of animosity. Erdogan owes his poll victories for years to the “enemies” he skillfully created at every turn. The Gulenists are the last one. Before them, external threats such as CIA, the US, and the internal ones such as Kurds, Alevis, and even secularists were targeted during the AKP rallies. Many in Turkey believed that the leaked tapes in 17/25 December 2013, where Erdogan and his son talked about how to hide what seems to amount more than a billion dollar in cash, was done by Gulenists in the police force. The purge is not new, actually police force was purged starting in 2013. But Erdogan knew that he needed a stronger tool to get rid of all the opposition in Armed Forces. Armed forces could not be shaped with executive assignments, like it was done with police force. So he decided to enact state of emergency and use the immense powers he gains.”

For the full interview: http://www.vocaleurope.eu/monday-talk-with-the-purged-former-turkish-nato-officer/