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 BlogviewPhilip Giraldi Archive
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Turkey

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Top officials sell out to anyone for anything
One of the interesting side benefits, if one might call it that, of the everlasting investigation into Russiagate is the window provided on the extreme corruption of U.S. politicians and government officials. It has become evident that anyone can seemingly buy political and media support for nearly anything as long as enough money is put... Read More
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Erdogan's electoral fraud must be challenged
The dizzying spiral of incompetent military and political interventions carried out by Washington in the Middle East suggests strongly that the best U.S. foreign policy would be one that is essentially inert. One only has to look at the inherent contradictions in what appears to be the Trump Administration policy towards Syria to understand how... Read More
Relations between Ankara and Moscow will likely continue to improve, despite the assassination of a Russian diplomat
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov has been shot dead in Ankara by an assailant who was subsequently killed by police. Sources who were present at the scene report that the attacker, dressed in a suit and brandishing a handgun, shouted in Arabic “Allahu Akhbar” followed by screams in Turkish, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget... Read More
It has become a destabilizing force in the Near East
The Republic of Turkey has become a loose cannon on deck, a short-term asset in enabling the U.S.’s bombing of northern Syria but a major liability when it comes to any eventual settlement intended to quell the fighting in the region. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking to destroy both genuine enemies and far less... Read More
Washington must accept that the Turkish leader is loyal only to his domestic supporters
What is going on in Turkey right now reminds me very much of the last few scenes in the first Godfather movie, where Michael Corleone is settling all of the Family’s outstanding business. Corleone is seen in church renouncing “Satan and all his works” while he participates in the baptism of his nephew—shortly before garroting... Read More
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A phony coup is today's Reichstag fire
There has been some utter nonsense coming out about the Turkish coup of last weekend. Some absurdly see the hand of the CIA working together with Pennsylvania exile Fethullah Gulen to bring down the Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a hypothesis that greatly exaggerates the capabilities and intentions of both the Agency and... Read More
Opponents of Turkey's strongman have only solidified his position
The military coup in Turkey last weekend started on Friday and consisted of attempts to take over government buildings and key infrastructure. The coup drew mostly on troops from the gendarmerie and the air force and was led by mid-level generals and colonels. There were some initial successes but by early Saturday morning it was... Read More
Islamist strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan relies on sketchily attributed terrorism to consolidate power and disrupt Syria
The recent carnage in Ankara comes at a good time for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan has been demanding that the United States and other NATO allies support him in his war against the Kurds of Syria, who are, incidentally, regarded as allies by Washington in the war against ISIS. The Turks have been... Read More
Nearly everyone claims to want to do something about ISIS, but nothing ever happens. In reality, the only powers directly affected by ISIS that are willing to fight are Iran and Syria, with a little help from Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Pessimistic intelligence assessments prepared for the Pentagon warn that there are multiple agendas being pursued by... Read More
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Turkey's duplicity threatens the entire region
Turkey borders several Middle Eastern countries that are either unstable or potentially hostile to it, sometimes both simultaneously. With a modern military of more than 600,000 underwritten by NATO membership it is regional superpower whose ability to dominate the politics of its neighbors is sometimes exercised. Turkey has a large and educated population, a vibrant... Read More
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may want to derail the an alliance against ISIS—and thus weaken the Assad regime
The shooting down of a Russian fighter plane by a Turkish F-16 is an extremely disturbing turn of events. Turkey claims that the SU-24 aircraft had violated its airspace and had not responded to repeated warnings before the armed response took place. The Russians for their part claim that they were operating in Syrian airspace... Read More
America's reluctant ally finally offers token assistance against ISIS only as cover for a campaign against the Kurds
The United States’s engagement in the Middle East since 2001 would be a comedy of errors but for the fact that it is not funny. It all began with the exploitation of a befuddled President George W. Bush by a group of neoconservative advisers who had long planned to invade Iraq and oust its President... Read More
The pontiff recognizes the Armenian genocide of a century ago, but can he do more about today's wars and injustices?
Last week Pope Francis described the slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as “genocide,” joining France and 20 other countries in adopting that designation. The massacres and forced relocations of Armenian civilians began 100 years ago and concluded with the end of the First World War in 1918. Even Turkey’s German military advisers were... Read More
Authoritarian corruption and a criminal foreign policy stand for election in Ankara
The Obama administration’s ambassador designee for Turkey John Bass recently had a bad day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, because he had difficulty explaining what is happening in Turkey before finally conceding that its government was “drifting towards” authoritarianism. I have just returned from a visit to Istanbul where I was able to talk... Read More
Seymour Hersh documents Ankara's efforts to pull the U.S. into the Levant
If you had been a reader of The American Conservative magazine back in December 2011, you might have learned from an article written by me that “Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border, delivering weapons [to the Free Syrian Army] derived from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals…”... Read More
Ankara's domestic struggles could pose severe risks for the West
Many Americans are puzzled by what is going in Turkey. Turkey, a founding member of NATO and a perennial aspirant for membership in the European Union, is the land bridge that connects Europe to Asia. It is a regional superpower, both economically and militarily, and has long been an island of stability in a Near... Read More
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Turkey is fertile ground for Iran-related intelligence operations, and Israel recently blew one.
David Ignatius of the Washington Post is reporting that early in 2012 Ankara informed the Iranians of the identities of a number of Israeli intelligence sources that were being routinely met in Turkey. Per Ignatius, who is particularly well connected to the Israel government and its security agencies, 10 Iranians who were spying for Israel... Read More
The CIA and State Department were caught flatfooted by protests against the Erdogan government.
Developments in the Middle East frequently confound even the most astute observers. Turkey, with its booming economy, NATO membership, and business-friendly government is often cited as critical ally and model Muslim-majority state embracing many Western social and economic values. The U.S. ambassador in Ankara, Francis Ricciardone, has nevertheless privately warned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan... Read More
If Netanyahu wants rapprochement with Ankara, he must do more than apologize for the Mavi Marmara killings
One of the surprise results of President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the Middle East was the last-minute phone call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey that took place from a hastily set-up trailer near the Tel Aviv airport as Obama was about to leave. The... Read More
Regional powers aren't immune to blowback and other consequences of intervention either.
Over the past eleven years we have become so accustomed to the United States intervening in the affairs of other countries, to include regime change and military invasion, it is sometimes possible to forget that some other nations have also found themselves mired in situations that they cannot extricate themselves from when they pursued similar... Read More
We’ll have to rename the bird a Freedom Fowl or something similar. The United Nations’ annual opening of the General Assembly each September affords heads of state and heads of government the opportunity to meet both formally and informally. The upcoming meeting between President Barack Obama and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promises to... Read More
Last week's declaration by Representative Brad Sherman that he would be asking the Attorney General to prosecute as terrorism supporters any and all Americans who participated in the Gaza flotilla should come as no surprise to those of us who have spent years watching congress line up to genuflect to Israel. But this article by... Read More
Turks Don't Give Thanks; Al Jazeera's Paranoia Play; White House Sends Back Undercooked Books
Turkish officials and senior military officers are angry about the results of the Nov. 5 meeting in Washington between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President George W. Bush. An agreement was reached whereby the U.S. would not oppose Turkey’s plans to launch air strikes against the PKK in Northern Iraq whenever the Turks have... Read More
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Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.
Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line.