Revelations about the Turkish Regime`s Links to bin Laden
Aristide D. Caratzas
Osama bin Laden visited Turkey twice, in 1996 and again in 1998, even though he was wanted by Interpol. It is almost certain that Turkish security forces were aware, not only of his arrival and contacts with businessmen and leaders of the officially tolerated fascist Gray Wolf organization, but also of his involvement in training Muslim terrorists in at least four camps in occupied Cyprus. This information has been gathered in an illuminating and detailed article titled "Secret Collaboration between [bin] Laden and the Turks," published today (September 25) in the Athenian newspaper Espresso.
The author of the unsigned Espresso article (himself an authority on Islamic subversion in the Balkans) cites the revelation by private Turkish television channel NTV (program at 3 pm, September 20, 2001). According to the information provided by NTV, bin Laden, flying in his private jet, landed in the airport in Adana on August 28, 1996 and was rushed to Istanbul, where he remained a total of 33 hours. His second visit to Adana and Istanbul followed on February 17, 1998, six months before the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa.
Given the context, it is noteworthy that Turkish authorities not only did not arrest the Muslim fugitive, but also provided assistance and facilitation. According to NTV "only the classified records of the aviation authorities in Istanbul noted the arrival of bin Laden's aircraft [in the 'Secret Documents and Circulars File'], and the entry formalities were not noted in the computer." The first visit took place during rule by the Motherland Party, Democratic Left Party, and Democratic Turkey Party coalition.
At first glance it may appear that this information is leaked in order to lessen the impact on the Turkish regime of such revelations. Conceivably it may be argued that the bin Laden contacts took place under a group no longer in power. In fact, the Turkish stratocratic state exercises control through an elaborate security apparatus that is not encumbered by strictures regarding human and civil rights. With this reality in mind, the Espresso article notes that bin Laden not only entered the country unmolested, almost with VIP status, but also met with some of the most distinguished representatives of the Turkish financial elite. In other words, the military cabal that actually rules Turkey clearly must have been aware of the bin Laden links.
Bin Laden's contacts appear to be extensive with the fascist Gray Wolves, a para-state organization that is tolerated, at times supported, and often used by the Turkish regime. (It was Ahmet Ali Agca, a devoted member of this organization, who had attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II over two decades ago. )
Espresso mentions, based on its own past reports, that the bin Laden organization, Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot Gray Wolves operated since 1992 at least four camps in parts of Cyprus occupied by the Turkish Armed Forces. These were used to train Bosnian Muslims, Albanians and Chechens, who later were sent fight in the Balkans and the Caucasus. It must be assumed that U.S. and other Western services not only knew (and know) of the existence of these camps, but also must have, at minimum, provided them with cover over time.
In a book by Roland Jacquard just published in France (Au nom de Ben Laden, i.e. In the Name of bin Laden), we are provided with information that confirms some of the Espresso assertions regarding the links between bin Laden and Turkish-occupied Cyprus. Jacquard writes, "[bin] Laden, in order to realize his operations directed to East Europe, used the banks in the Turkish section [i.e. illegally occupied part] of Cyprus. He secured the cooperation of some businessmen who have close cooperation with the Government in Turkey. They even speak about a person who is the member of the President's family."
It is an ironic and sad fact that U.S. government now must investigate in detail the connections of bin Laden to the Turkish regime. It is hinted that some of these go right to the top in Ankara and of those appointed to rule occupied Cyprus. If Jacquard is referring to Denktash (the "president" of the occupation regime), then an investigation needs to be conducted in Washington itself, where one of his nephews is a fellow at a prestigious and major think tank. Families throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East are quite extended, as are family loyalties. It is difficult to conceive that the nephew would not have been aware of the uncle's links.
The extent of the Turkish regime's links, and those of the occupation regime in Cyprus, with the bin Laden organization, may explain the recent attacks on the Republic of Cyprus by some of the regime's Washington advocates. Cyprus admitted to banking relationships with the bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia (which has denounced its errant member). In that it is no different than the United States, where the bin Laden family actually maintains significant financial holdings. Both countries now are collaborating on many levels.
The Turkish regime, while it appears slavishly accommodating to the demands of the civilized world, in fact is withholding information. Perhaps this is because such information may prove embarrassing, and may raise important questions about its actual loyalty to the West, given the support it appears to have given to those very forces that attacked the United States on September 11.