Turkey Arrests Generals Who Stopped Syria-Bound, Weapons-Laden, Spook Trucks

Tyler Durden's picture

If there’s a silver lining to last Tuesday’s downing of a Russian Su-24 warplane by two Turkish F-16s it’s that the world is now starting to scrutinize President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Even to the uninitiated it seemed strange that a NATO member would shoot down a Russian fighter jet over an alleged 17 second violation of Turkish airspace. Why, one wonders, would the democratically elected leader of one of the world’s foremost up and coming emerging markets decide, out of the blue, to become the first member of the alliance to engage a Russian or Soviet aircraft in more than six decades? 

The answer to that question lies in Ankara’s covert dealings with the various rebel groups fighting the Assad regime in Syria.

Turkey’s support for some militias (the Turkmen fighters aligned with the FSA for instance) is not secret. However, there’s no shortage of speculation that Erdogan is also allied with less “moderate” forces including ISIS. The PKK for instance, has long accused the government of maintaining a cozy relationship with Islamic State and there are all manner of reasons to believe that Turkey has at various times facilitated the flow of fighters and weapons to ISIS (see here) and served as a critical link between the group’s lucrative oil operation and global crude markets (see here and here). Now, thanks to last week’s plane “incident”, this has been laid bare for the world to see and Erdogan is not happy about it. 

Now that AKP has regained its political supremacy (thanks to a farce of an election Erdogan engineered after AKP lost its absolute majority in June), Ankara has renewed its crackdown on undesirable journalism. As we reported on Friday, Can Dündar, editor in chief of Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gül, the newspaper’s capital correspondent in Ankara, were arrested last week on charges of spying and aiding and abetting terrorists. 

In reality, Dündar and Gül exposed Turkish intelligence’s role in providing weapons to extremists operating across the border. Here’s WSJ with the summary: "The charges center on a Cumhuriyet report in May, including photos and video, suggesting Turkish intelligence was secretly ferrying weapons to extremist Syrian rebels. The article sparked a major furor in Turkey, which has long been accused by its critics of secretly aiding in the growth of Islamic State militants based in neighboring Syria.” Here’s the video: 

“The footage shows gendarmerie and police officers opening crates on the back of the trucks which contain what newspaper Cumhuriyet described as weapons and ammunition,” Reuters reported at the time, adding that “witnesses and prosecutors have alleged that MIT helped deliver arms to parts of Syria under Islamist rebel control during late 2013 and early 2014, [according to] a prosecutor and court testimony from gendarmerie officers.”

For his part, Erdogan claimed the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid for Turkmen groups (presumably the same FSA-aligned Turkmen groups who executed a Russian pilot last week). The President then hilariously accused a bevy of officers and prosecutors of being part of a “parallel state” (with ties to Fethullah Gülen) determined to bring down the government. 

As Reuters went on to detail, the trucks were eventually allowed to pass after MIT officials threatened the police."Don't treat me like you have captured a terrorist," one of the men told a gendarmerie officer who had handcuffed him.

The contents of the crates: 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of grenade launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy weapons. 

Here's where the trucks were intercepted:

Given that the battle for Aleppo (which is still going on today with Iranian ground forces advancing on the city), was raging at the time the trucks were stopped, and given what we know about FSA's ongoing presence in the city, it seems fairly obvious that the weapons were bound for the Free Syrian Army. Indeed, Erdogan hedged his "humanitarian aid for Turkmens" story, telling supporters over the weekend that "those who revealed the transfer made the world hear about these trucks by stopping them and checking what they were carrying. Then they said the government was sending weapons to terrorist groups [in Syria]. In so doing, they revealed all the humanitarian aid that was going to Bay?r-Bucak Turkmens. They also exposed those going to the FSA in that way."

Of course funneling money to the FSA is dangerous enough as we saw last week when the 1st coastal brigade destroyed a Russian search and rescue helicopter with a US-made TOW, but it's not as though the FSA (they're "moderates" don't forget, despite the fact that they fight alongside al-Nusra) were alone in Aleppo when these MIT trucks were stopped. Here are two maps which show the ISIS presence in the city on 01/05/2014:

Source: First Mile GEO

As you can see, there's no telling who these weapons were intended for which, presumably, is why the gendarmerie sought to stop the shipment. 

Not satisfied with having imprisoned the reporters who broke the story, Erdogan moved on Monday to arrest the officers involved in the stop. Here's the official story from state-run Anadolu Agency:

A court in Istanbul has ordered the arrest of three senior army officers, including two generals on charges of espionage and leading a terrorist group in a case involving the search of Turkish intelligence trucks in 2014.


The court made the ruling on Sunday.


General Hamza Celepoglu was accused of forming and leading an armed terrorist organization and of trying to overthrow the Turkish government. General Ibrahim Aydin and a retired colonel, Burhanettin Cihangiroglu, were accused of forming and leading an armed terrorist organization as well as spying and trying to oust the Turkish government, according to Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan.


The three suspects were called to an Istanbul courthouse on Saturday as part of an investigation involving the search of trucks belonging to the Turkish intelligence (MIT) in 2014.


In January of that year, several trucks were stopped by the local gendarmerie in southern Adana and Hatay provinces on the grounds that they were loaded with ammunition, despite a national security law forbidding such a search.

So let's just be clear about what's going on here, because it would be a shame if the absurdity was lost on anyone. In January 2014, MIT loaded up some trucks with weapons bound for militant groups operating in northwestern Syria. Those trucks were stopped at the border by police who were subsequently threatened by intelligence agents who accompanied the drivers. Erdogan has now charged the officers with "forming and leading an armed terrorist organization," when in fact they were doing the exact opposite. That is, they were trying to keep several truck loads of weapons from reaching armed terrorist organizations.

As you can see, there are no limits on what Erdogan will do to suppress dissent and cover up Ankara's role in implicitly supporting terrorism by arming militants in Syria.

It's worth noting that the FSA has become nothing more than a kind of catch-all excuse for flooding Syria with weapons. As al-Jazeera reported earlier this month, the group is beset with defections and "nowhere is [the dissatisfaction] more apparent than in Aleppo, where many FSA soldiers are leaving the group, citing inadequate pay, family obligations and poor conditions." Still, the media manages to portray them as a well-organized group of battle-hardened, "moderate" warriors who have a very real chance at battling the Russians and Iranians to a stalemate (they've rejected Russia's overtures regarding teaming up to fight ISIS) on the way to negotiating for a transition away from the Assad government. This characterization allows Washington and its regional allies to justify the hundreds of millions in guns, ammo, and funding that to this day flows into the country unimpeded. Whether or not all of that goes to the FSA or the Kurds or whether, like Erdogan's MIT trucks, it all could be going to the very same groups who organize and execute attacks on Western civilians is an open question that will likely never be answered. 

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Truther's picture

Fuck you Erdogan, you must be shitting your pants by now. Putin is at the door.

Joe Trader's picture

Who do they think they are? They turn on Russia, they turn on NATO...I suppose it's a no-brainer for isis-supporting turkey.

freewolf7's picture

My money is on Russia/Putin.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Most westerners don't have a clue who Erdogan is, or what he is trying to do. Once you do a little digging, it seems like he's got a few screws loose. Except of course for the fact that he seems to be accomplishing what he set out to do: re-establish the Ottoman Caliphate. Given that that is ISIS' goal as well, it is pretty obvious that they are working together. At which point he starts to look like a dangerous Islamic psychopath.

From ten months ago:

The Many Reasons Why Erdogan Is Reviving The Ottoman Empire And The Coming Caliphate

"After ISIS, what’s next and who will finally contain it? Will the U.S. succeed in crushing ISIS or will it simply be encompassed by a much bigger dog? And where will this Caliphate story end, or better yet, mushroom into an uncontrollable phenomenon.

We have maintained, that ISIS will never produce the ultimate Caliphate. Two decades ago we trumpeted that the Islamists of Turkey will revive the Ottoman Empire and today we remind, that you have seen this happening right before your very eyes and the evidence is mounting by the day.

And we warn that the next 4 years, this revival will be completed and ISIS will be encompassed under the wing of the Ottomans. Today we see this dead man of Europe beginning to stand up and we estimate that the next four years will be significant and things will move quick."


nope-1004's picture

It's also more than that:  Turkey is broke financially.  Erdogan turned on Russia because the country is insolvent - literally.  Next step for Turkey is a civil war or coup because Russia has time on its side, which Turkey does not.

Shooting down the Russian jet, when the Russians informed NATO exactly where they would be flying, is an obvious display of desperation and intentional provocation, which Putin is too smart to fall for.

the phantom's picture

Once the Russians/Syrians/Hazbollah/Iranians/Kurds seal the border between Syria and Turkey, ISIS will die.  It was such a stupid move by Erdogan to shoot down the Russian plane, an act of desparation.  Now Russia has the "no-fly" zone, not the NATO "safety zone" they were trying to set up.  If NATO had their way, then this safety zone would be the springboard for terrorist supply lines/funding for quite some time.  No chance of that now.

Checkmate bitches.

Poundsand's picture

Banzai is right.  Look further back and you will see that Erdogan was banished from politics by the army way back for advocating Islam extremist positions.  Once he wiggled his way back in, he has been working towards the Caliphate and it doesn't appear that anyone, or any law is going to stop him. 

He dreams of being the head of the Caliphate and built his new home for $615 million for just that purpose.  The question is who will be the strong man that takes over the lead of the Islam horde?  Erdogan certainly is in contention, at least IMHO.

y3maxx's picture

President Erdogan is a USSA stooge....the equivalent to the USSA stooge who was dropped in the Ukraine coup.

HowdyDoody's picture

The 'moderate' FSA and Turkmen were responsible for the execution of the Su-24 as he descended under parachute - a war crime? If so, presumably it is now only a 'moderate' war crime which makes it OK.


Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) HowdyDoody Nov 30, 2015 1:59 PM

Erdogan is a gangster. I respect him, in that he is out in the open with it.


Anunnaki's picture

Except Erdogan has been purging the Military and replacing them with fellow travellers. Although I doubt unlike Obama, the new leadership ranks are filled with Trannies and peter puffers

Anunnaki's picture

Obama is panicking that he can no longer protect ISIS east of the Euphrates: Raqqa, Syrian Panhandle/Syrian Kurdistan. If the Northwest corridor is sealed off and Obama/Hollande are too chicken shit to do weapons drops now that the S-400s are in place, how will ISIS get their weapons drops? 

My true hope is that Putin exapnds the bombing runs into Iraq. Force Obama to cry and whine some more. I love when Obama whines.

Prevent Erdogan's attacks on Iraqi Kurds.

Anunnaki's picture

I agree but think that a more compelling reason was payback for the Russian bombing (without the 45 minute warning) of the oil trucks.


Seems readily apparent: those were Turkish trucks, Turkish drivers and Bilal Erdogan's profits going up in black smoke. 

The reason why Obunghole gave 45 minute warnings? Putin shamed him into having to attack the convoys. Bombing sand dunes and Syrian Gov't granaries weren't going to cut it any longer.

That warning was to let the Turkish drivers get away even if the trucks and oil went up in flames.

The buy in for Turkey supporting ISIS (An Obama/Mossad enterprise) was that they got cheap oil out of the deal as a bonus/payoff.

Not anymore. No doubt that the coordinates for the shoot down came from Obama. The F-16s were lurking in the area and the Central Asian "Turkmen" were on the ground waiting to pick off any survivors.

NOtice at the Climate Change Kumbaya how Obama couldn't look Putin in the eye. Putin had a little twinkle in his eye


Wish Volodya would give that prissy string bean a judo flip 

two hoots's picture

Like antibiotics, mankind is becoming resistant to peace. 

Croesus's picture

@ Buckaroo Banzai: 

I can't pretend to know everything about Erdogan, but I sure as hell wouldn't trust him around kids. He's got the pedo-smile. 

For the record, I hope Putin gets serious and wipes those fuckers off the map. 

Germany sure as hell doesn't need Turks. They're shitty people. Always were. Always will be. 

the phantom's picture

Putin forgot what his ancestors learned a long time ago... never trust the turks.\

Reminds me of that famous line in The Godfather II: "Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth... but he never *trusted* Hyman Roth!

L Bean's picture

Had to downvote you for linking to the fraud Shoebat, who appeared on the American televangelical scene after 9/11 as an obvious anti-Arab operative.

RonArgent's picture

This is getting comical.

Omen IV's picture

My money is on a coalition of Turkish Generals for a Coup de etat -  the coordination will be by Russian Agents

Omen IV's picture

My money is on a coalition of Turkish Generals for a Coup de etat -  the coordination will be by Russian Agents


His Son needs a bullit quickly

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) Joe Trader Nov 30, 2015 11:43 AM

Time is soon for Turkish military to make a choice: loyal to Turkey or loyal to Erdogan.

Must choose one. Can not be both.

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Say 'Hello' to Kurdistan:

Russia is facilititing a coalition between Syrian govt. and Syrian (and of course Turkish) Kurds in the battle against Shaitan.


Blowback is a bitch

Anunnaki's picture

If that is true, that would be Christmas come early for me

Onan_the_Barbarian's picture

There may not be enough of them left.  There have been periodic purges in the police and military since Erdogon first came to power.

Blankone's picture

And the depth to which he has filled the govt ranks and important positions with relatives and loyal associates has been underestimated (according to what others have posted about him previously).  This would include the judges and prosecutors.

Remember, not too long ago he was caught, in recordings,  planning a false flag event in Turkey to be blamed on Assad.

He is in a stronger position that most think.  And his actions indicate a willingness to take bold actions, including brutal ones, - that he has impunity from prosecution, has plans to change the constitution to make his control legal, and is impatient for events to unfold.

Many of his actions in Turkey are mimic events in the US.  Including terrorist acts, aiding terrorist, internal intelligence system and control, changing of the constitution by legislation, corrupt prosecutors and judges, using the power of the govt agencies to crush key opponents.

His actions, excuses and demeanor make you wonder if he is not just obsessed with power but is also a little unstable (maybe a drug user also).


JuliaS's picture

Erdogan: "Either you are with us or you are against the terrorists."

dobermangang's picture

Putin should arm the Kurds and bomb the ISIS oil trucks, oil depots and roads/bridges leading to Turkey.  No more ISIS oil for you!

Herodotus's picture

Putin should declare a "no truck zone" on all Syrian roads leading to/from Turkey.

strannick's picture

Putin should cage match Obama Hollande Erodagan and bitch slaps the whole weasel gang  all at once.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

I'd pay to see that event......

strannick's picture

Putin should cage match Obama Hollande Erodagan and bitch slaps the whole weasel gang  all at once.

Anunnaki's picture

Can I play too? What Putin needs to do is start bombing runs against ISIS in Mosul and WEst Central/Ramadi/Fallujah Iraq. Only b/c Obama told his latest IRaqi puppet Haidar, "you better not let Russia bomb Iraqi ISIS"

Hugh G Rection's picture

Roses are red

Violets are blue

This is all a Zionist shit show

For the benefit of psychopathic Joos


ILLILLILLI's picture

That is an article worth reading as it outlines a number policy objectives that form the backbone of the current US policy in the MidEast.

samsara's picture

That article should be required reading on ZH.


A Clean Break:
A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria.


Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.



Flagit's picture

Only a handful of ZH'ers had even herd of Clean Break before last week, myself included.

Who posted that?

Johnny Horsecock?

omniversling's picture

And this is the Oded Yinon Plan (full text within the article). No interpretation nor analyses of the ME is complete without this IMHO. Greater Israel does not stop between the Nile and the Euphrates IMHO. 'G*d's Chosenites have a battle plan for the World. Full Spectrum Dominance is a published doctrine, the hidden hand signed it 'US Military' however.


BlueViolet's picture
BlueViolet (not verified) Truther Nov 30, 2015 11:49 AM

Israel WARNS Erdogan >> http://bit.ly/1SpGAhB

Badsamm's picture

Only because Israel had plans for the Golan Heights and that doors was slammed shut. Israel always had the luxury of bombing Syria without repercussions, With S-400's on the ground and Russians pilots in the air, Israel must be furious. Lol

Noplebian's picture
Noplebian (not verified) Truther Nov 30, 2015 12:27 PM

EU and NATO sell out and now leading to......yes you guessed it......


One And Only's picture

I've been thinking about all these reports of various US goverment departments (like Hoover dam security) "stocking up" on ammunition. But maybe that's just a lie and the US is sending this shit to the ME. 

I mean it's just a bit strange that a lot of the footage I see of ISIS they have m16s and m4s. They drive our vehciles, shoot our guns, fly our drones. This is fucked.

BullyBearish's picture

Yes, they're running out of guns and ammo to send, thus the big push to get ours...

Tejano's picture

Yeah, the bad guys used to carry old, beat up AKs. Now they're all sportin' new ARs. What's up with that?

Flagit's picture

The only thing "strange" is that the Americans sit on their collective asses, night after night, believing whatever bullshit happens to roll off the TV, instead of burning down the offices of Congress until they move to seize the assets of AIPAC, label all members AND contributors as terrorists, then have them expelled from the country. The problem with expulsion is the little bastards always come back stronger.


Next term I will be old enough to run for President. My only campaign promise will be to place all AIPAC members in a shipping container, and bury it.

stitch-rock's picture

"“witnesses and prosecutors have alleged that MIT helped deliver arms to parts of Syria under Islamist rebel control during late 2013 and early 2014, [according to] a prosecutor and court testimony from gendarmerie officers.”"

Those Boston nerds sure do get around...

Billy the Poet's picture

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is in league with the Free Shit Army.  It's got Chomsky's fingerprints all over it.

Flagit's picture

What is MIT, Military Intelligence of Turkey?