Erdogan Met Top CIA Chiefs and Bush before Becoming PM
116 Days in Twilight
Translated transcript of the video:
On December 12, 1997, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while he was still the mayor of Istanbul, was arrested for citing a poem in Siirt (city), and sent to prison for 10 months. He was charged according to –then- Turkish criminal law, article 312, to incite hate, religious and ethnic division within public. The Supreme Court approved the charges.
The decision of the Supreme Court, which was reached with majority of the votes, ended Erdogan’s political life. On November 1998, the State Council, decided to remove Erdogan from his post as the mayor of Istanbul. Erdogan spent 4 months in Pinarhisar prison, beginning March 26, 1999. His sentence was reduced according to attenuation laws.
He has left the prison on June 24, 1999. The party Erdogan was a member of, Fazilet Party (Virtue Party) is also closed by the government. Meanwhile, Erdogan’s multiple visits to the USA catch interests. Erdogan visits the USA on April 17-April 24, 1995; November 17-November 22, 1996; December 20-December 23, 1996; March 26, 1998 and July 26, 2000. A month before he established his AKP on July 4, 2001, he visits the USA during Independence Day with a special invitation. During these visits, Erdogan has meetings with the Jewish Lobby. The USA Government’s Council on Turkey also entertains him.
CIA Turkish Relations Chief Henri Barkey, “Moderate Islam” namesake CIA Chief Graham Fuller, and Richard Perle, a fierce advocate of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and an adviser to the Bush administration, were among the names Erdogan had meetings with behind closed doors during these visits.
On August 14, 2001, Erdogan, along with few others, established the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Erdogan became the party’s leader with an election. Founders of AKP were the group known as the reformers in the Fazilet Party. Erdogan said “we changed our shirt” while describing the party’s new direction. But in August 21, 2001, the Chief State Prosecutor Sabih Kanatoglu, claims Erdogan cannot be a founding member or a general manager of a political party, due to his prior conviction based on article 312/2, and opens a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court.
Meanwhile, Erdogan visits USA for one last time in February, 2002. The Constitutional Court agrees with Kanatoglu and the case ends on October 9, 2002. Erdogan’s US visits play an important role in his climb to power. In November 3rd, 2002 general elections, the newly found party, AKP, became the leading power with the support of foreign political winds. But because of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s prior imprisonment, he could not be a member of the Parliament. The 58th Administration is established with the leadership of Abdullah Gul. After that, a 116 day long twilight session starts. Domestic and foreign actors roll up their sleeves for the goal which they have predetermined. (Erdogan visits USA one more time, meeting Bush on December 11, 2002.) The goal is first to make Erdogan a member of the parliament, then the prime minister. The 58th administration, led by AKP, presents a constitutional change to remove the political ban on Erdogan.
The proposition passes the congress with the support of the opposition CHP party. This was a political maneuver to remove the obstacles in front of Erdogan’s political climb. But this development brings question marks as to why would the president of the opposition party Deniz Baykal support Erdogan. Unfortunately, the secret curtain that hides the details of this incident cannot be opened. Journalist Zulfu Livaneli wrote a striking column on the issue. Livaneli claimed Erdogan and Baykal had a secret meeting before the election in Beylerbeyi, Istanbul and agreed on a secret pact. A CHP representative Yasar Nuri Ozturk also carried the details of the meeting to the media. Ozturk claimed, Erdogan promised Baykal with the Presidency if Baykal helped remove the ban on his political activities. But for some reason, this meeting did not create a lot of noise and was hidden from the media.
Now, we are asking. What kind of negotiations took place in that meeting? Which secret powers were intermediaries in the meeting? The comment, made by the former head of the Fazilet Party and Erdogan’s former mentor Necmettin Erbakan, in an interview, is very interesting: “Foreign powers are the ones that made AKP the ruling party. And, used the party for 5 years to implement all their orders which were to implement the Chaim Nahum Doctrine.”
Despite that the constitutional amendment that would open the doors of politics to Erdogan was approved by the congress with the majority of the votes, the President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed the result, asserting that the amendment was too individualistic and rigid. Later the same amendment was presented to the congress and passed. This time the President Sezer had to approve the amendment, according to the Turkish constitution.
There were no more legal obstacles to prevent Erdogan from being a congressman. But, by then, the general election was already passed. How could Erdogan be an MP, now? The hands in the twilight were already on it. First, newly elected MP from the city of Siirt, Fadil Akgunduz was removed due to a previous embezzlement scandal, and the MP election for Siirt repeated. The candidate on top of the list from the AKP, Mervan Gul, withdrew his candidacy. Erdogan, as the number one candidate of the party for Siirt, went into new election. On March 8, 2003, Erdogan became the MP to represent Siirt by getting 85% of the votes. And then, the 58th administration led by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul resigned on March 11, 2003. Following this, the President Sezer gave the permission to Erdogan to establish the new administration. On March 15, 2003, Erdogan created the 59th administration. Bahceli, a leader of one of the opposition parties, MHP, pointed out the events in the course of the new administration’s creation. He said in his speech, “Domestic and foreign commanders helped AKP win the election as a solitary party. And AKP said they took off the nationalism t-shirt and put on a new one. On the new shirt, the front says USA, the back says EU.” Bahceli characterized the course of banned Erdogan’s rise to power as 116 days in twilight. He called on Erdogan to explain what went on in these 116 days. He said, “One day, history will write the facts, in which dark rooms and which dark corners, in dark relationships, how they were able to make an MP. If I ever come to power and don’t investigate this to hold you responsible, then I am a coward. We are not trying to smear anyone; we are asking you to come clean.”