“Sixteen foreigners entered Büyükada Island just before the coup in a clandestine manner and booked hotel rooms on the island, but they left the island immediately as the coup failed.
This covert group was led by Henri Barkey, an expert on Turkey’s affairs and former CIA agent. The primary feature of this undercover group was to analyze and acquire knowledge on the matters surrounding Iran, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt.
The members of this secret group did everything to avoid surveillance cameras on the island. Right after the abortive coup, some of the members left the island on July 15th and the rest on July 17th.”
The internet has reported stories about a group of ‘CIA plotters’ having supervized the attempted Coup from a hotel on the island of Büyükada during the 15 July events.
The origin of this story can be traced to Turkish media but it was quickly reproduced by others. These reports are almost certainly the source of an enigmatic tweet posted by US Presidential Candidate donald Trump on August 15:
“I’ve got fresh evidence 13 CIA senior officers helped in Turkey Failed Coup. I will divulge the names in the coming days.”
Turkey says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania since 1999, masterminded the failed July 15 putsch when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, warplanes and helicopters in an attempt to overthrow the government.
“There is no compromise apart from this chief terrorist coming to Turkey and being prosecuted,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.
Yeni Şafak — an influential paper that supports Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — claimed that General Campbell is the organizer of the coup attempt. He managed “$2 billion in money transactions” from a Nigerian bank to coup plotters with the help of Central Intelligence Agency.
The chief editor of the daily Akşam tweeted their front page with pictures of “10 CIA spies,” who, the paper claimed, planned the coup.
Gülen said he would hand himself over to Turkish authorities only if an independent international investigative body first found him guilty.
“If a tenth of the accusations against me are established, I pledge to return to Turkey and serve the heaviest sentence,” he said in an opinion piece in French daily Le Monde.
The US Government
U.S. officials have said that the United States has a formal process for dealing with extradition requests and that Turkey must provide solid evidence of Gülen’s involvement.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Turkey on Aug. 24, the first trip by a high-ranking U.S. official since the abortive coup. Biden — it is reported — made it clear that such request is a legal matter, not one for the POTUS to decide.
The Agency acknowledges the attempted Coup. The ‘CIA World Factbook for Turkey’ reads:
On 15 July 2016, elements of the Turkish Armed forces attempted a coup at key government and infrastructure locations in Ankara and Istanbul. An estimated 300 people were killed and over 2,000 injured when Turkish citizens took to the streets en masse to confront the coup forces. Turkish Government authorities subsequently conducted mass arrests of military personnel, detained several thousand judges and journalists, and suspended thousands of educators in connection with the coup. The government accused coup leaders of links to the “Gulen” movement – an Islamic transnational religious and social movement, which the government designates as a terrorist group.
The Agency denies — of course — any involvement in the Coup. This is not surprising, considering that it took almost 50 years for the CIA to reveal the details of Operation TP-AJAX.
Former US Officials
Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, believes that the CIA played a role in the attempt of a military coup in Turkey.
“Today, people read about the [CIA] overthrow in 1953 of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. In 25 years, your children and grandchildren will read about this Coup.”
Büyükada (meaning “Big Island” in Turkish; Greek: Prinkipos meaning “Princes”) is the largest of the nine so-called Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, with an area of about 2 square miles (5 km2). It is officially a neighbourhood in the Adalar (Islands) district of Istanbul Province, Turkey.
‘The Splendid Palace Hotel is a lovely hotel that opened in 1908. The hotel itself is a beautiful building with silvery domes and red shutters, facing the Marmara sea one side and the city of Istanbul on the other.”
According to the Istanbul Yeni Safak paper
There seems to be no doubt that ‘a meeting’ did occur at the Splendid Palace Hotel on one of the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara, some twenty minutes from Istanbul, on the night of July 15.
on the July 15 night of the coup Henri Barkey and a group of seventeen others, mostly foreigners, met for hours in a locked room in the Splendid Palas hotel on the tourist Princes’ Island outside Istanbul and reportedly followed coup developments on TV amid their closed-door talks, according to testimony of hotel personnel. The paper cites a source from Istanbul Police’s Intelligence, Counter Terror, Cyber Crime and Criminal Units, who reported that Barkey was holding a meeting at the hotel with 17 top figures, most of them foreign nationals, on July 15, the day of the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
According to the hotel management, Barkey had held a “meeting that lasted hours until the morning on July 16 in a special room. They have been following the coup attempt over TV channels,” the hotel personnel told police.
Here is the list of the participants from the hotel record:
Henri Barkey, an expert on Turkey’s affairs. Turkey media have alleged that Barkey is a former CIA agent.
Henri Barkey is the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is the former Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor at Lehigh University. He served as a member of the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff working primarily on issues related to the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, and intelligence from 1998 to 2000. [Wilson Center]
Barkey is also a close friend of Graham Fuller, a former CIA officer who had also given reference for Gülen to receive a green card.
According to the records from Atatürk Airport, Barkey arrived in İstanbul at 10:24 on July 15th and departed at 04:05 on July 19th.
Graham Fuller (born November 28, 1937) is an American author and political analyst, specializing in Islamic extremism.
Fuller is former CIA officer who served as Station Chief in Kabul and Turkey for the CIA.
He was the vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council. A “think piece” that Fuller wrote for the CIA was identified as instrumental in leading to the Iran–Contra affair.
You can read the document here: THE FULLER MEMORANDUM – MAY 1985
There is a rumor that Fuller intervened among different organizations to pave the way for Fethullah Gülen’s residence in USA.
Gullen and Fuller have carried out some investigations into Kurds’ matters.
Fuller has indeed a strong interest in Turkey geopolitics. His daughter goes by the name of Samantha ANKARA Fuller.
Henri Barkey and Fuller co-authored a book: Turkey’s Kurdish Question.
(At this point, it is not obvious that Fuller actually attended this meeting. )
Ellen Laipson is a Distinguished Fellow and President Emeritus of Stimson. Laipson joined Stimson in 2002, after 25 years of government service.
Her last post was Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council (1997-2002).
She also served on the State Department’s policy planning staff and was a specialist in Middle East affairs for the Congressional Research Service.
She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the International Advisory Council of the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
She served on the board of the Asia Foundation (2003-2015). She was a member of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2009-2013, and on the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board 2011-2014.
Laipson has an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and an AB from Cornell University. [Stimson]
Ali Vaez is Crisis Group’s Senior Iran analyst based in Istanbul.
‘Consulting closely with all sides in the nuclear negotiations for the past few years, he led Crisis Group’s efforts in helping to bridge the gaps between Iran and the P5+1 and is renowned as one of the foremost experts on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.’ [International Crisis Group]
He is one of the top chairmen at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Masood Karokhail co-founded The Liaison Office and led its development from a pilot-research project to an independent organization with over 120 employees and four field offices.
He is an expert on issues of governance and political economy of Afghanistan. He has in-depth experience in developing and coordinating projects and teams in the areas of good governance, conflict mediation, dialogue facilitation and civic education.
He serves in International Center of Reformation of Afghanistan.
Samir Sumaidaie is an Iraqi politician and was the Iraqi ambassador to the United States.
He was born in Baghdad in 1944 and left Iraq in 1960 to study in the United Kingdom where he obtained a degree in electrical engineering from Durham University in 1965 and a postgraduate diploma in 1966. He returned to Iraq in 1966 but left again for the UK in 1973 after Saddam Hussein seized power. He returned to Baghdad and was appointed member of the Iraq Governing Council in July 2003. He was appointed as Iraq’s ambassador to the United States in April 2006, after previously serving as the Iraq’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (from August 2004), and prior to that, as Baghdad’s Interior Minister. [WIKIPEDIA]
He entered Turkey on July 15th and left on July 19th.
Marwa Daoudy is Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
She received her Ph.D. in Political Science and M.A. in History and International Politics from the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (Geneva, Switzerland).
Her research and teaching focus on international and regional security, international relations, the environment, and Middle East politics.
She entered Turkey on July 15th and left on July 19th.
Sylvia Tiryaki is a scholar, political analyst and civil society activist, who founded the Global Political Trends Center (GPoT), a policy oriented research institution under the auspices of Istanbul Kültür University with her colleague Mensur Akgün in 2008.
Tiryaki is the former Vice-Chair of the International Relations Department of Istanbul Kültür University where she currently lectures on international law, introduction to law, human rights and history of political thought.
She is an expert on Israel, Palestine, and Armenia.
She entered Turkey on July 14th and left there on July 28th.
Ahmed Morsi was a nonresident research associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
He has graduated from Andrews University in International Affairs and is an expert on the Middle-East, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
He entered Turkey on July 15th and left on July 19th.
Ellie Geranmayeh is one of the expert and commentators in European Council on Foreign Relations.
She is the expert on the Middle-East including Iran and Saudi Arabia.
She arrived in Turkey on July 14th.
Scott Peterson is the Christian Science Monitor’s Middle East correspondent.
He entered Turkey on July 13th.
Professor Mensur Akgün
Professor Mensur Akgün — who is a Karar newspaper writer — also attended the meeting. Professor Akgün said that Barkey was actually invited by a group of officials and professionals to a conference organized ‘to evaluate the situation in the region’.
The ‘conference/workshop’ had actually been scheduled — about half a year ago — on the first anniversary of the treaty signed for the nuclear disarmament of Iran. [This agreement was reached on Tuesday 14 July 2015.]
The meeting was postponed due to certain complications in Turkey. “Then, by coincidence, it was held on that night.”
Professor Mensur Akgün also said that a very important Saudi expert was also to attend but he cancelled it at the last minute.
It is abundantly clear that the stories published about this meeting are rid with obvious ‘mistakes’ and exaggerations. None of these individuals entered the country illegally, nor did leave Turkey as soon as the Coup had failed.
One mistake is particularly illustrating of the ‘mood’ among these newspapers. An Akşam’s reporter mixed one of the guests, Christian Science Monitor’s Middle East correspondent, Scott Peterson, with another Scott Peterson who is on a death row in California for the murder of his wife.
Even after confirming via the inmate locator that convict Scott Peterson was still in prison in California, the paper amended the story the following day to claim that Peterson might have been brought to Turkey by the CIA as an “assassin.”
At this point, one can only conclude that a group of distinguished scholars met at the Splendid Palace Hotel for a conference about the current situation in Iran and the ‘region’. There is no reason to link these individuals to the attempted Coup. One can therefore seriously doubt that Ankara will present any evidence of such a link in their request to extradite Fetulhah Gülen.
PS/ This story will be updated as additional information is made available.
Did the CIA stage and spearhead the coup in Turkey? AWD News 16 August 2016
Henri J. Barkey
Originally from İzmir and born in İstanbul, Barkey speaks Turkish fluently, at the level of a native-speaker.
He had previously caught attention for his statements where he said ‘Gülen has no ties with the CIA.’
Graham E. Fuller
Crisis Group : Before joining Crisis Group, he headed the Iran project at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC. Trained as a scientist, Vaez has more than a decade of experience in journalism. He has written widely on Iranian affairs and is a regular contributor to mainstream media outlets. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University from 2008 to 2010 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Geneva and a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
I4P Afghanistan — The Liaison Office (TLO), Afghanistan
TLO’s mission is to facilitate the formal integration of communities and their traditional governance structures within Afghanistan’s newly emerging peace, governance and reconstruction framework. TLO’s main areas of activity are Research and Analysis guided by the do-no-harm philosophy; Peacebuilding/Access to Justice and Alternative Livelihoods. TLO emphasizes a participatory approach to peace-and state-building and forms of engagement that take into account and build upon local realities. TLO has worked in about 70% of all Afghan provinces, conducting research and peacebuilding projects.
Wilson Center affiliate
School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
She has published a book discussing the benefits of an imbalance of power in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.
Professor Mensur Akgün