Private Turkish military contractor SADAT, a paramilitary unit loyal to the president of Turkey, has been peddling conspiracy theories claiming that the US might be behind deadly earthquakes that struck Turkey earlier this month and that a Western anti-Islam/anti-Turkish campaign aims to overthrow Turkey's Islamist leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Several articles written by Ali Coşar, a retired colonel and board member of SADAT and published by the paramilitary group's propaganda arm, ASSAM (Association of Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center), claimed the US has been threatening Turkey for some time and that it wasn't a coincidence that the quakes occurred right after the visit of a US warship to Istanbul.
Coşar also maintained that the West has launched an anti-Islam/anti-Turkish campaign over fears of a rising Turkey and SADAT's goal of creating a powerful, supra-Islamic state comprising dozens of Muslim countries. He said the anti-Turkey campaign intensified after Turkey's obstruction of Sweden and Finland's NATO membership bids. He also entertained anti-Semitic views that Jews rule the world with a secret government.
SADAT enjoys significant influence in the office of the Turkish president and helps shape foreign, military and security policy in Turkey and abroad. SADAT, short for Uluslararası Savunma Danışmanlık İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi, a for-profit company, was set up by retired general Adnan Tanrıverdi and his associates on February 22, 2012. Tanrıverdi had served as a former chief military aide to the Turkish president and still counsels Erdoğan, albeit unofficially, on military and security matters.
The paramilitary group has been involved in arming, training and sponsoring jihadists in Syria and Libya, shedding blood in the streets on behalf of Erdoğan during a false flag coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and has never been held to account for the extrajudicial crimes it committed.
According to SADAT, the West's ultimate objective is to oust Turkish President Erdoğan from power and thwart the alliance of Islamic countries from being realized.
"The anchoring of the American Warship USS Nitze in Istanbul and later Kocaeli Izmit Bay has deep meaning," Coşar wrote in the article posted on the ASSAM website on February 6, some 12 hours after the devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of over 40,000 people in Turkey's south.
Recalling false claims that HAARP technology was used by the US in the artificial creation of the 1999 Gölcük earthquake that killed some 18,000 people in Turkey, he said, "Who can provide assurances that the facilities established in Alaska were not used as a base station for sending strong electromagnetic waves to any part of the world including the earthquakes that destroyed 10 [Turkish] cities ... and will not be used in the future?"
He was referring to the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), the world's most powerful high-frequency transmitter to study the behavior of the Earth's atmosphere. The program is part of research conducted by the University of Alaska, which took it over from the US Air Force in 2015. HAARP cannot create or amplify natural disasters according to experts, who rule out the possibility of causing earthquakes with radio transmission.
What is more, the USS Nitze arrived at Turkey's Gölcük Naval Base for a scheduled port visit on February 3, three days before the deadly quakes and anchored in Istanbul briefly on its way to show solidarity with NATO ally Turkey. The commanding officer, Cmdr. Katie Jacobson, US Ambassador to Turkey Jeffry Flake, Deputy Chief of Mission Scott Oudkirk and US Consul General in Istanbul Julie Eadeh held a short ceremony on board the ship to convey a message of friendship to Turkey.
Coşar demanded that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) immediately force the US ship to leave Turkish waters, to remove what he termed a threat to Turkey's national security. He claimed the US military presence in Greece, Syria and the Mediterranean was all part of a comprehensive siege plan executed by Washington against Turkey and framed this as an existential threat to the country's future.
The article further entertained the anti-Semitic conspiracy of a secret world government that is controlled by Jews and accused New York-based think tank the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) of serving as functionary for this hidden hand to shape global politics.
Again raising anti-Semitic conspiracies, Coşar alleged that leading US publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and British publication the Economist were owned by Jews who are targeting Turkey and Erdoğan. However he said all these efforts would be in vain since Allah will perfect his divine light — an expression borrowed from Quran — through Turkey and create the Confederative States of Islamic Union that SADAT aims to establish.
SADAT works with Turkish intelligence agency MIT and coordinates actions with Turkish diplomats and defense officials according to Ali Kamil Melih Tanrıverdi, the CEO of SADAT and the son of its founder Adnan.
Adnan announced during the 2019 Islamic Union Congress that his organization had been working to pave the way for the long-awaited mahdi (prophesied redeemer of Islam), for whom the entire Muslim world is waiting. The implication was that President Erdoğan is the expected leader and mahdi. He played a critical role in the massive purge of pro-Western officers from the Turkish military that started in 2016, during which 80 percent of all flag officers were dismissed and/or jailed on fabricated charges.
Abdullah Bozkurt, a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow, is a Swedish-based investigative journalist and analyst who runs the Nordic Research and Monitoring Network and is chairman of the Stockholm Center for Freedom.