Erdoğan's advisors were warned of impending coup attempt - Perinçek
Doğu Perinçek is the head of the left-nationalist Patriotic Party (Vatan Partisi). Even though his party's vote is only around 1 percent in general elections, Perinçek has had a disproportionate influence over Turkish politics, particularly in recent years before and after the coup attempt. Many of his domestic and foreign policy priorities have become Turkey's priorities within the last year or two.
He is also the most effective spokesperson for those both inside and outside of the Turkish state institutions who want Turkey to turn to a Eurasian alliance and leave NATO and the Western alliance for once and all. "Turkey has left the NATO alliance and it cannot turn back there," he told Ahval.
Perinçek was jailed during the Ergenekon trials by what is said to be Gülenist factions within the Turkish judiciary, security and law enforcement bodies. Perincek has been leading the fight against the Gülenists, or what the Turkish Government calls "the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organisation" or "FETÖ".
Let's look at the facts. At the beginning of 2014, the Patriotic Party was at the centre of the struggle against the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organisation (FETÖ) for the last 50 years. Tayyip Erdoğan collaborated with Fethullah Gülen to form his government after 2003. If Turkey decided to fight against FETÖ, is it Tayyip Erdoğan’s position, or the Patriotic Party's stance? We proved that FETÖ is a worldwide terrorist organisation based in the United States, and we have (initiated the process of) purging American Gladio. About the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) issue, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government started the talks (process with the PKK). The PKK was provided areas of authority in our southeast region. (The AKP government) delivered the municipalities to the PKK. If the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), starting from July 24, 2015, launched an offensive against the PKK, that is thanks to the Patriotic Party. The Patriotic Party was defending good relations with Russia when Tayyip Erdoğan was bragging about downing a Russian plane. The Patriotic Party was visiting Moscow, Damascus, and Tehran. Now, look what Turkey's position is; the Astana process started, the Turkey-Iran-Russia alliance was formed, Syria is also indirectly in (this coalition). This is the triumph of the Patriotic Party.
So, if AKP governments can implement your programme, then there is no need for you to be part of the opposition?
2018 is a crucial year because the bankruptcy of the borrowing economy will manifest itself explicitly this year. (Turkey has) over $400 billion in debt. (The Turkish economy) needs $100 billion emergency money within one year. The sum of current account and the budget deficit is also $100 billion ... Both nearly amount to $200 billion, and the AKP government has no (credible channel) to find this money. Thus, next year we will suffer the consequences of transitioning to a production economy. This also translates to a quest for new solutions in Turkey, and a search for new governance. (Even) the principal advisers of the president admit that the economy is facing significant difficulties. That is the same thing the American Embassy is saying to those close to them. They're saying, "2018 will be hell for Turkey".
You said that voters would reject the constitutional changes in the 2017 constitutional referendum. You were very sure of it.
We were 0.5 percent wrong. The 'No' vote didn't win, but there was 49.5 percent rejection. There is also this; there were some fraudulent (decisions). The Supreme Election Board (YŞK) allowed unstamped envelopes and unstamped ballots to be counted in the evening hours (of the referendum). The law is unambiguous. Envelopes and ballots need to be stamped. It's against the law. This, in fact, rendered the referendum illegitimate. There were other fraudulent activities, as well. We were informed about those activities. 'No' would've won.
You said that Turkey is moving towards the Eurasian alliance. Is Turkey stuck between NATO and the Eurasian alliance?
Turkey separated itself from the Atlantic system. Turkey cannot go back to the Atlantic system anymore because the Atlantic system means a divided Turkey. The Atlantic system means the establishment of Kurdistan, a second Israel. And the Atlantic system also means drowning in debt for Turkey. Turkey is positioned against NATO and the United States right now. To improve its economy and its security, Turkey needs to resist the threats coming from them. Turkey's friends now are Iran, Iraq, and Syria, Russia, China and Central Asian Turkic republics. Turkey is knocking the door of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
In the Eurasian alliance, which country can constitute a model for Turkey as a secular and free state with modern and democratic principles? Which country do you think Turkey's political development parallels?
No country can be a model for Turkey. Turkey has created its own model of the Kemalist Revolution. There is only one solution for Turkey, to complete the Atatürk revolution. I mean a republican, nationalist, populist, statist, secular and revolutionary Turkey.
You are also against NATO, but isn't Turkey entering into new tutelage relationship with Russia considering the lopsidedness of the alliance, with Russia's agriculture and tourism sanctions against Turkey and the S-400 missile system negotiations?
Turkey-Russia relations do not have imbalances that would lead to Russian tutelage. Russian-Turkish ties are potentially well balanced. Secondly, the Turkish administration has a chance to evaluates this situation objectively and proceed accordingly.
You wrote an article called "Can Erdoğan turn to America again?" Do you have that impression? What happens if Turkey moves back towards America and NATO alliance?
This is being discussed in society. Some are keen to see Tayyip Erdoğan return to America. So, they will like it if he goes back. That's why I wrote it. In my opinion, Turkey cannot go back to America. Since Turkey going back to that alliance is not an option, the administration does not have much wiggle room. Turkey and America are on the opposite sides. We can see this in the economy as well, there are some operational threats against Turkey's economy. But also Turkey cannot maintain this borrowing economy. All this points to Turkey moving towards the Eurasian alliance. Last year, a photo was taken in Beijing, Putin, China's leader Xi Jinping, Tayyip Erdoğan, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev were in the centre. This is a photo of the future of the world. That picture won't change much.
I'd like to ask about the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and July 15th. Some say that there is a 'Perinçek supporters' group in the army, is that true?
No, it's not true. American newspapers are claiming this. German newspapers are claiming this. Michael Rubin, the former chief of the Pentagon and the CIA, is continuously cultivating this. There was a massive purge in the TSK. There is a critical report that the TSK sent to the FETÖ trials. The numbers according to that report are as follows; 30,000 generals, officers, petty officers, military students and personnel working in military institutions were purged.
Back to July 15th, in a statement, you said, "When Dugin told us that the Turkish troops were extraordinarily active, and we told him to report this to the Turkish government. He reported to the mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Melih Gökçek. The government knew about the coup plans. If I knew, how could the National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) not know?"
My first question; why Melih Gökçek? The second question is; if MİT and the government knew beforehand, why did they wait until after (the coup was attempted)?
Our Deputy Chairman, Retired Gendarmerie Colonel Hasan Atilla Uğur told me this first. He had an interview with Yeni Safak newspaper that day (July 14). Atilla Ugur said to me: ‘Before the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting’ - I think YAŞ was gathering at the end of July that year – ‘a FETÖ coup is expected.' He said, 'because they are being purged they won't have access to weapons anymore, hence they are in preparation for such an attempt before they are completely purged.' I also asked General Uğur, to mention this during his Yeni Şafak interview. I also asked him to report this to the administration.
So, you reported to Yeni Şafak newspaper, but not to the National Security Organization MİT, or the government?
Of course, I don't know how MİT wouldn't have information on something that (even) General Uğur did ... Because, at the end of the day, even we knew ... Secondly, Mr. Alexander Dugin visited us two days before July 15. We invited him. He also had scheduled meetings with the president's advisors and Melih Gökçek.
He also visited Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. He told us: 'We are observing unusual activity within the Turkish army.' These were his exact words: 'The Russian state is observing unusual activity within the Turkish army.' I asked him to convey this information to government officials during his meetings.
We met once again and he said that he conveyed the information to the administration. Dugin reported this information not only to Melih Gökçek on July 14 but also to Tayyip Erdoğan’s senior advisers.
You say that Alexander Dugin met Erdoğan’s top advisers on July 14. Who are these key advisers?
I don’t want to name their names, I don't know exactly. He had an official appointment with two or three of the principal advisers. It must be in the official records. More importantly, let me tell you something; we distributed 400,000 leaflets around Turkey on July 1, 15 days before the coup attempt. In Article 1 of this declaration, we clearly stated that the United States was implementing a 'governance project' to establish an illegitimate government (in Turkey).