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Turkey

Kamil Ekim Alptekin is a Turkish citizen charged for working with Michael Flynn  and Bijan Kian and to extradite liberal imam Fethullah Gulen from Pennsylvania because he is the main political enemy of Erdogan.  

ERDOGAN’s TURKEY

Erdogan came to power as Prime Minister in 2003. Geographical location has always made Turkey a center for trade…The Ottoman Empire 1299-1923, when “Turkey” declared its independence.  This map shows how it changed over time and controlled much of the Mediterranean trade.

The Hapsburg Group: Austria, Turkey, Italy, Poland

The Austrian Hapsburg Empire was one family, 19 emperors. Here’s a YouTube Map of how it changed from 1282 until dissolution after WW1 when it renamed itself “German Austria” in 1918.

“According to the document [Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort], some of the key participants of the Hapsburg group are former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Belgian Judge Jean-Paul Moerman, head of the German Federal Chancellory Bodo Hombach and former Spanish NATO head Javier Solana.

Manafort Exhibits filed in June 2018, Page 3 “The exhibit containing the names of Alan Friedman, Eckart Sager, Konstantin Kliminck, and Hapsburg group members, was filed by the clerk in an unredacted form on Wednesday afternoon but was re-filed a short time later in a redacted form with those names hidden. The existence of the text messages first came to light earlier this month, but the content of the messages was not publicly known until Wednesday’s filing. Last Thursday, Mueller, cited the messages in accusing Manafort and his Russian associate, Konstantin Kliminck, of witness-tampering. On Friday, Mueller filed a superseding indictment against Manafort that included Kliminck and new charges for obstruction of justice. Wednesday’s filing names Friedman and Sager – described in previous filings as Person D1 and Person D2 – as the recipients of Manafort and Kilimnik’s text messages. According to those filings, on Feb. 26, Manafort sent a Business Insider article, in which it is reported that he had been charged with paying European leaders who were part of the Hapsburg group, to lobby on behalf of Ukraine to Friedman. He then wrote. “We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe.” In a series of messages sent in late February, Kilimnik asks Sager for assistance contacting Friedman. “Basically P” – referring to Manafort – “wants to give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the US, and the purpose of the program was EU,” Kilimnik wrote to Sager after asking him to mention the messages to Friedman. He then writes, “If you have a chance to mention this to A.” – referring to Friedman – “it would be great. It would be good to get them connected to discuss in person. P is his friend.” In April, Kilimnik reached out to Friedman directly in a message that said, “Hi. This is K. My friend P is looking for ways to connect to you to pass you several messages. Can we arrange that.” ABC News

The Med East Pipeline Project is promoted by Israel and runs a direct line to Greece and Italy, bypassing Turkey; promoted by George Papadopoulos after he got out of college and continuing.

Putin-backed TurkStream Gas Pipeline will become operational in 2019. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attend ceremony in Istanbul to mark completion of TurkStream’s offshore section. November 19, 2018    Turkey wants closer relations with Russia.


 

ERDOGAN-GULEN BACKGROUND 

The Rise of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Now This News (8 1/2 mins)

Fethullah Gulen “Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College awarded its 2015 Gandhi King Ikeda Peace Award to Gülen in recognition of his lifelong dedication to promoting peace and human rights.[151][152][153].  Gülen topped the 2008 Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll and came out as the most influential thinker.[154]. Gülen was named as one of TIME magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2013.[155]. In 2015, Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Enes Kanter said that he was excluded from the Turkish national basketball team for his public support of Gülen.[156] Kanter was disowned by his family in 2016 due to his support for Gülen.[157]. Gülen was listed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.[158][159]” Wikipedia

Erdogan sought the extradition of Gulen to Turkey and directed Alptekin’s Inovo BV (rather than Turkey directly) to become the client of Flynn Intel GroupLobbying Registration effective September 15, 2016, Flynn Intel Group obtained Inovo BV as a client and registered Robert Kelley as lobbyist, 2006 Chief Counsel to the National Security Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform.

In exchange for delegitimizing Gulen in the US and extradition to Turkey, Erdogan approved payments from Turkey to Inovo BV, who paid Flynn Intel Group $530,000 (of a $600,000 offering); Turkey received regular updates and Inovo BV got a 20% kickback.

October  2018, “Trump administration officials last month asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said.” NCB News November 15, 2018

December 17, 2018 Two Men Charged with Conspiracy and Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government Justice.gov

“The Deep State “On June 18, 1997, following a series of ultimatums from the military, Erbakan resigned. His party, the Welfare Party, was banned, as were three other Islamist parties that Erbakan and Erdoğan had once belonged to. No shots were fired: the generals stood back and the civilians sheepishly slinked off the political stage. The event is still referred to as the “postmodern coup.”

Around the same time, a group of military officers calling themselves the Western Working Group began to reassert their authority and tried to remove any traces of what they regarded as undue Islamist influence. Public servants, even university professors, were required to attend lectures by military officers on the menace of political Islam. The generals aimed at getting rid of Erdoğan, who, as the mayor of Istanbul, was regarded as the most powerful local leader. Their opportunity came in December, 1997, when Erdoğan went to the city of Siirt and read aloud an Islamic-accented poem: ‘The mosques are our barracks; The domes our helmets; The minarets our bayonets; And the faithful our soldiers.’ In fact, the poem was written by Ziya Gökalp, one of the country’s most famous secular nationalists, in 1912. Nevertheless, Erdoğan was charged with “incitement of religious hatred,” sentenced to ten months in prison (of which he served four), and banned from politics.” The New Yorker

Erdogan was jailed in 1999.

1999 Fethullah Gülen moved to the US for medical treatment, settling in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Erdogan was elected Prime Minister in 2003.

  • On or before February 20, 2012, the Turkish government requested the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) give evidence of Gulen-linked AKP politicians (the Justice and Development Party Erdogan became President of in August 2014) Wikipedia
  • March 12, 2012, The New Yorker published “The Deep State“: “When Erdoğan and his comrades in the A.K. Party came to power, there were widespread concerns that, as ardent Islamists, they were intent on foisting a religious regime on secular Turkey. Erdoğan, for his part, feared the resistance of what is commonly referred to as derin devlet, the “deep state.” The deep state is a presumed clandestine network of military officers and their civilian allies who, for decades, suppressed and sometimes murdered dissidents, Communists, reporters, Islamists, Christian missionaries, and members of minority groups—anyone thought to pose a threat to the secular order, established in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal, or Atatürk. The deep state, historians say, has functioned as a kind of shadow government, disseminating propaganda to whip up public fear or destabilizing civilian governments not to its liking.Friends and colleagues say Erdoğan worried that the deep state would never allow him to govern. But, to the surprise of many, he has pulled Turkey closer to the West, opening up the economy and becoming a crucial go-between for the West with Palestine, Iran, and Syria. He has called on the Assad government, in Damascus, to step down, and has tried to help build a bridge between the West and Tehran in the current nuclear standoff. In the eyes of American and European leaders, Erdoğan has fashioned Turkey into an indispensable Islamic democracy, offering a potential example for Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria.”
  • May 13, 2012, CBS News “US Charter Schools Tied To Powerful Turkish Imam “Over the past decade, followers of the mysterious Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen have opened scores of charter schools in the U.S., inspired by a man who is as powerful as he is reclusive. There are a total of about 130 charter schools like Harmony in 26 states. Together they form the largest collection of charter schools in the country. Here’s what’s curious: they’re founded and run by immigrant businessmen and academics from Turkey. The Turkish imam Fethullah Gulen who tells his followers that to be devout Muslims they shouldn’t build mosques – they should build schools; and not to teach religion, but science. In sermons on the web, he actually says: “Studying physics, mathematics, and chemistry is worshipping God.” So Gulen’s followers have gone out and built over 1,000 schools around the globe – from Turkey to Togo; from Taiwan to Texas. Alp Aslandogan: His message is that if you want to solve any social problem for the longer term, the solution has to go through education. Businessman Alp Aslandogan chairs a foundation in Houston that advances Gulen’s teachings.”
  • August 2013: Proposal of a new law that would force the closure Gulen-Movement Cram Schools met with protests until it became law in February 2014 and took effect February 2015.Wikipedia
  • November 28, 2013 Taraf article “claiming that the decision to bring down the Gülen Movement had in fact been taken during a National Security Council (MGK) meeting in 2004.[37] The article claimed that the formal decision to end the movement’s political influence had been signed in August 2004 by both Prime Minister Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül. Erdoğan’s chief advisor Yalçın Akdoğan denied the claims, but his denial failed to convince the pro-Gulen media.[38] Samanyolu TV alleged that a decision for the National Intelligence Organisation to maintain surveillance on individuals was included in the leaked documents.[39]In response to the leaking of MGK documents, Prime Minister Erdoğan made a statement reiterating his decision to abolish cram schools, while slamming the leak as an act of national treason.[40][41][42]” Wikipedia
  • “The Cram school crisis created a split within the AKP’s parliamentary group, with pro-Gulen MPs openly voicing their concern over the new educational legislation. These included İdris Bal. Bal resigned from the AKP.[44] Another key resignation was that of Hakan Şükür in December 2013, who is openly a follower of Gulen and strongly critical of his party’s cram school policy.[48] Şükür revealed after his resignation that he had been to visit Gulen on numerous occasions while still an AKP Member of Parliament, telling Gulen that he wanted to resign from his party. He claimed that Gulen had delayed his decision.[49]Wikipedia
  • Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Real Estate Corruption 80 Arrests (24 Charged) on December 17, 2013 Blamed on Gulen followers and Erdogan retaliated by Purging the Police forces of Hundreds: Corruption Scandal Is Edging Near Turkish Premier NY Times December 25, 2013 “A corruption investigation that has encircled the Turkish government moved an ominous step closer to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, as three top ministers whose sons have been implicated abruptly resigned — and one of them, on his way out the door, said Mr. Erdogan should step down as well.   The resignations, coming only hours after the ministers welcomed Mr. Erdogan at the Ankara airport as he returned from Pakistan late on Tuesday, were enough to inspire new talk of a deepening crisis, which Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly denounced as a foreign plot.  The corruption inquiry has targeted the ministers’ sons, a major construction tycoon with links to Mr. Erdogan and municipal workers, and it centers in part on allegations that officials received bribes in exchange for ignoring zoning rules and approving contentious development projects. On Wednesday morning, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Muammer Guler, whose sons are among 24 people arrested in the corruption investigation, stepped down. A few hours later the environment and urban planning minister, Erdogan Bayraktar, closest among the three to Mr. Erdogan, said in a live television interview that he had resigned under pressure. He also said Mr. Erdogan was personally involved in unspecified property deals that are a focus of the investigation. The resignations came after a week in which Mr. Erdogan’s government sought to purge the police forces of those it believes are behind the investigation, which has been linked to Fethullah Gulen, a popular Muslim spiritual leader in exile in Pennsylvania who has millions of followers in Turkey, including some who hold high positions within the police and judiciary. Mr. Erdogan and others have called them a “criminal gang” and a “state within a state.”  In a televised speech on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Erdogan used some of his strongest language yet to denounce his former allies in the Gulen movement and promised to dismiss them. “We will root out the bad apples or whatever is necessary,” he said.  Dozens of high-level police officials, and hundreds of other officers, already have been removed. Reports emerged in the Turkish news media on Wednesday that prosecutors were pursuing other high-level officials, but that new police officials installed by the government had resisted pursuing them. This essentially highlights a power struggle within state structures.” NY Times.  “the government branded the investigation as a ‘planned psychological attack’, ‘an illegal group within the state’ and ‘dirty games being played within and outside the Turkish state‘.”[54][60][61Wikipedia
  • December 25, 2013, “the same day that the HSYK ruled that the government’s demands were unconstitutional, prosecutor Muammer Akkaş issued an arrest warrant for 30 more individuals on charges of corruption, yet the Istanbul Directorate of Security refused to make the arrests.[71] As a result, Akkaş issued a statement claiming that he was being prevented from doing his job. The government responded by accusing Akkaş of attempting to begin a second operation through unlawful means, thus taking him off the case and allegedly giving it to prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı.[72] In the end, the case was transferred to five other prosecutors.[73]  Realising that the ministers involved in the 17 December operations did not initially know that investigations had begun into them, the government made it compulsory for such investigations to be reported to the most senior officials in government.[69]The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) ruled this requirement unconstitutional.[70]Wikipedia
  • December 26, 2013: “The three ministers that were incriminated in the corruption scandal, namely Zafer Çağlayan, Erdoğan Bayraktar and Muammer Güler, resigned from their cabinet ministers. Having also been mentioned in the corruption investigations, Egemen Bağış also lost his position in the ensuring reshuffle. Prime Minister Erdoğan claimed that Akkaş had disgraced the judiciary by issuing such a statement and claimed that the HSYK had committed a crime by refusing the government’s demands to notify senior ministers of investigations. He claimed that had he had the right, he would have ‘tried’ the HSYK himself, but claimed that the people would have the right to judge.[74] A day later, the Turkish Council of State voted down the government’s demands, with Erdoğan subsequently issuing a statement saying ‘what needs to be done will be done, and then you will see’ and claiming that the judicial changes proposed in the 2010 constitutional referendum had been a mistake.[75] Several pro-government ministers claimed that the judicial setback was the last open attack against the AKP by the Gulen Movement.[76] A new law that would bring the HSYK directly under the control of the Ministry of Justice was passed on 1 February 2014 despite several breakouts of violence between government and opposition MPs.[77][78][79] Wikipedia
  • December 31, 2013: “Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who was later himself accused of being a supporter of Gulen, claimed that the events of 17 December 2013 had been a mini-coup attempt.[80] An intelligence report for the Prime Minister was leaked on the same day, with claims that the ‘parallel structure‘ had branches in 27 provinces and had over 2,000 police officers and several academics, journalists and bankers under its control.[81][82] President Abdullah Gül issued a statement on 4 January 2014 claiming that a state within a state was ‘absolutely unacceptable’.[83] Erdoğan claimed that the corruption scandal had been an attempt to tarnish the AKP’s image, to worsen his relations with President Gül, to sabotage the ongoing solution process with Kurdish rebels and to stop Turkey’s growth. A new spate of anti-corruption operations began on 7 January, in provinces such as İzmir, Amasya and İstanbul. These operations were mocked by the pro-AKP media.[84][85][86][87][88][89]Wikipedia
  • January 1, 2014: MIT trucks were accused of carrying weapons into Syria and publicly stopped, FIRST BLAMED on GULEN in a failed smear campaign special intelligence operation, later claiming they were humanitarian aid as cover.
  • January 31, 2014 the “MIT Law” presented: National Intelligence Organization (MIT) allowing the MIT to “function as the intelligence branch of a party state.” Surveillance Police StateAl-Monitor
  • 2014 Internet Censorship Law, blocked Twitter and Youtube
  • February 25, 2014, “A recording was posted on YouTube allegedly featuring Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan telling his son Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan to ‘nullify’ all the cash kept in their home due to the ongoing operations occurring in other government ministers’ homes. The Prime Minister called the tape a ‘dastardly, shameless and nasty montage’, adding that there was nothing that he could not give a justification to. He claimed that the perpetrators behind the montage were members of the parallel structure (i.e. the Gulen Movement) and committed to beginning legal proceedings into the recording, as well as proving that it was a forgery. The recording was broadcast in Parliament by opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who claimed that new revelations would emerge in the following days and called for the Prime Minister to ‘grab a helicopter and flee the country or resign’. Legal proceedings began into Kılıçdaroğlu for broadcasting the recording to Parliament, with him being accused of acquiring the recording through illegal methods. Despite the investigation later being abandoned, the court decided to restart the case in June 2015. The MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli claimed that the tapes put minds into shock, adding that the unjustifiable recording would go down in Turkish history as a disgrace. The pro-government newspaper Star claimed that the government had received a report from an American company (John Marshall Media) confirming the recording to be a fake. However, the company CEO later took to Facebook stating that they did deal with legal verifications of tape recordings and stated that the report bearing their company name was a fake, announcing that they would look into possible legal action into their brand name being used unlawfully.[104]” Wikipedia
  • March 13, 2014: Turkish local election, AKP party won “In a balcony speech declaring the AKP’s victory, Erdoğan claimed that the population had given him a mandate to continue his fight against the parallel structure.[130] He further stated that the parallel structure’s treachery would not be forgotten and that he had been a victim of his own good intentions, which was a perceived reference to the AKP’s traditionally cosy relationship with Gulen.[131] Finally, Erdoğan pledged to have Gulen’s sympathisers tried before the people and not the courts that they had ‘infiltrated’.[132]” Wikipedia
  • May 31, 2014 Anti-Erdogan Protests at Istanbul’s Taksim square.
  • The Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced Erdogan would be their presidential candidate and he won after a 40-day campaign on August 28, 2014. The main campaign slogans were People’s Man Erdogan and Bring Strength to Turkey. Wikipedia 
  • July 15, 2014, Free Coal to the Turkish region of Izmir campaign
  •  İdris Bal “formed the Democratic Progress Party (DGP) in November 2014, with many media outlets describing the party as the party of the Gulen Movement.[45][46] Before the June 2015 general election however, Bal resigned as the leader of his new party, accusing the pro-Gulen media of limiting his party’s ability to reach out to voters.[47] This cast doubt over initial claims that the DGP was a pro-Gulen political party.”Wikipedia
  • “In January 2015, the EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle called on Ankara to restore judicial independence in order to make progress in its accession negotiations.[140]Wikipedia 
  • February 5, 2015 “The United States Congress has urged Secretary of State John Kerry to push Turkey for a free press after the raids on pro-Gulen newspapers that saw the arrest of Samanyolu TV director Hidayet Karaca [tr] and Zaman editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı.[141] Following the police raids on pro-Gulen media, the US Congress condemned Turkey for an “assault on democracy”.[142]
  • July 26, 2015 Kurdish Rebellion Resumes: A car bomb killed two soldiers, response  was to crack down on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
  • October 22, 2015: 26 people arrested in wiretapping scandal within the prime ministry (scandal ongoing in 2014) BBC
  • November 24, 2015 Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on its border with Syria BBC
  • December 27, 2015, “Ertuğrul Günay, Haluk Özdalga and Erdal Kalkan all resigned from the AKP.”Wikipedia

 A failed coup against Erdogan on July 15, 2016, was blamed on the Western and educated-friendly Sunni Islam global initiative of schools and charitable organizations called Hizmet, led by Fethullah Gulen, an imam living in the Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.  290 people killed, 1,400+ injured, 6,000 arrested. Since then, more than 113,000 people have been fired, suspended, or detained. Erdogan called it a “gift from God” to be able to identify his enemies.  That same night, Michael Flynn supported the coup onstage at Act! Cleveland.  This began the Gulen Purges from 2016-2017

  • January 29, 2016, The Turkish Court issued an Arrest Warrant for Gulen

  • August 9, 2016: Erdogan met with PutinAugust 24, 2016: Turkey launched air strikes on Kurdish positions in Northern Syria BBCFLYNN INTEL GROUP –  INOVO BV Lobbying Registration effective September 15, 2016 
    • Erdogan sought the extradition of Gulen to Turkey and directed Alptekin’s Inovo BV (rather than Turkey directly) to become the client of Flynn Intel Group. Lobbying Registration effective September 15, 2016, Flynn Intel Group obtained Inovo BV as a client and registered Robert Kelley as lobbyist, 2006 Chief Counsel to the National Security Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform.In exchange for delegitimizing Gulen in the US and extradition to Turkey, Erdogan approved payments from Turkey to Inovo BV, who paid Flynn Intel Group $530,000 (of a $600,000 offering); Turkey received regular updates and Inovo BV got a 20% kickback.

    September 19, 2016: “In March 2017, former CIA Director James Woolsey told the Wall Street Journal that he had been at a September 19, 2016 meeting with then Trump campaign advisor Mike Flynn with Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and energy minister, Berat Albayrak, where the possibility of Gulen’s abduction and forced rendition to Turkey was discussed.[99][100] Although no concrete kidnapping plan was discussed, Woolsey left the meeting, concerned that a general discussion about “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away” might be construed as illegal under American law.[101] A spokesman for Flynn denied Woolsey’s account, telling Business Insider that no nonjudicial removal had been discussed at the meeting.[102]

  • October 2016: [Andrew] “Brunson, 50, [sic] detained for two years on espionage and terrorism-related charges that the pastor and U.S. officials said were false.” Washington Post

April 4, 2017: Erdogan denounced a chemical attack that killed 86+ civilians in northwestern Syria, called Assad “a murderer”, April 7, praised the US missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation.


    • Trump Transition Aide Did Not Disclose Role in Turkish Work NY Times June 13, 2017

      “A business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn took part in sensitive hiring and policy discussions involving U.S. intelligence as a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team, but failed to inform Trump’s team that he had conducted political work on behalf of a foreign client of Flynn and might have to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent.

      Internal records for Flynn’s partner, Bijan Kian, indicate he had not disclosed his work on behalf of a Turkish businessman last year with the Flynn Intel Group or provided any warning that he planned to file as a foreign agent, a current Trump transition official told The Associated Press. Kian, a little-known figure active on the presidential transition team, is emerging as a key player in the political controversy involving Flynn, Trump’s fired national security adviser.

      “He did not indicate that to us in his transition documents. We would have no reason to know,” said the transition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Kian’s role during the post-election period. Almost two months after the transition period, both Kian and Flynn filed in March as foreign agents with the Justice Department, acknowledging their political work for Turkish-run Inovo BV could have principally benefited the government of Turkey.

      For Kian, who led most of Flynn Intel Group’s research and lobbying for a Turkish businessman, the Trump transition role offered influence in the selection of intelligence agency candidates and access to internal discussions of U.S. national security policy. But Kian’s participation in the transition — following his management of work that Flynn Intel acknowledged may have benefited Turkey’s government — reinforces concerns about the adequacy of the administration’s vetting process.

      Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who is co-sponsoring a bill to toughen regulation of Americans performing political work for foreign interests, said Tuesday it was “very troubling that an unregistered foreign agent was playing a key role in the Trump administration’s transition.” She added that “similar to General Flynn, someone working on behalf of foreign governments should never be put in a position where they’re making important decisions within our government.”

      An Iranian-American businessman whose full name is Bijan Rafiekian, Kian did not respond to repeated attempts over two months by the AP to contact him by phone, email and visits to properties listed for him in public records.

      Kian described his transition role on his LinkedIn profile as “deputy lead” assigned to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Kian said he provided “policy input, strategic guidance and operational counsel to prepare” candidates for the director of national intelligence, the CIA and other top officials.

      Two former transition officials who met with Kian during that period said that Kian was clearly close with Flynn and served as the retired general’s sounding board. One of the officials said Kian helped scrutinize then-Rep. Mike Pompeo before he was named Trump’s CIA director. The second official said Kian was involved in transition discussions for the National Security Council and the director of national intelligence. That official added that Kian did not expect to get an administration post. Both transition officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the transition’s work.

      Like Kian, Flynn also worked on the transition while he was under Justice Department scrutiny for the Turkish work. But, as the AP previously reported , Flynn did inform the Trump transition about his Turkish work through his attorneys, who notified the transition he might have to register as a foreign agent. After Flynn joined the administration, his attorneys followed up with the White House counsel’s office, disclosing that Flynn would indeed be registering with the government as a foreign agent.

      As Flynn’s little-known business partner, Kian played a key role last year in supervising much of Flynn Intel Group’s foreign work while the former U.S. lieutenant general campaigned for Trump. The research and lobbying they conducted for the Turkish firm has boomeranged on Flynn, now the target of a federal criminal investigation and congressional inquiries.

      …Kian connected Flynn with his Turkish client, helped to negotiate their $600,000 contract and oversaw a documentary and an op-ed aimed at an opponent of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the client and several others who requested anonymity because of the ongoing criminal investigation. The client, Ekim Alptekin, also confirmed to the AP that Kian worked for one of his Turkish companies at the same time he was working for Flynn Intel.Until Trump’s election, Flynn served with Kian on the board of GreenZone Systems Inc., a technology firm Kian headed until April. Flynn and Kian co-authored a 2015 op-ed about ISIS militants, and attended galas put on by the Nowruz Commission, a nonprofit run by Kian and his wife promoting the Iranian Nowruz holiday. Alptekin was named a board director of that group in 2011.For the three months leading up to the election, Kian was Flynn Intel’s linchpin, lobbying and managing contractors in the Turkish work. Alptekin said Kian was the intermediary who brought Flynn’s firm together last summer with Alptekin’s Dutch-based company, Inovo BV. Kian was also the “main one” representing Flynn Intel in contract talks with him last fall, Alptekin said, adding Flynn “wasn’t involved at all” in the talks, though he signed the contract.

      Inovo ended up paying Flynn Intel $530,000 for research and lobbying aimed at persuading authorities to file criminal charges against Fethullah Gulen, a political foe of Erdogan. Flynn Intel disclosed its contract and other details of its Turkish work last March to the Justice Department, which regulates lobbying and other political activities for foreign interests in the U.S. Flynn and Kian were the only individuals who personally registered as foreign agents for Inovo.

      Kian and Alptekin had an existing business relationship when Flynn Intel began its foreign work. Alptekin confirmed Kian had been vice chairman of his Istanbul-based aviation company, EA Havacilik, since November 2011. Alptekin said he and Kian regularly strategized to build an aviation customer base.” Continue reading the main story


    July 13, 2017 “Turkey’s Justice Ministry said on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been charged with complicity with the coup attempt. Many of those arrested or charged and are associated with the Gulen movement.[144] The government has charged people merely associated with the Gulen movement through such means as possession of an account with Bank Asya, a Gulen-movement affiliated bank, or subscribing to Zaman, a Gulen-movement affiliated newspaper.[145]Wikipedia

    September 28, 2017, “Erdoğan requested the U.S. to extradite Gülen in exchange for American pastor Andrew Brunson, under arrest in Turkey on charges related to Brunson’s alleged affiliation with “FETO” (the Gulen movement); Erdoğan said, “You have a pastor too. Give him to us…. Then we will try [Brunson] and give him to you….”[109][110][111][112] “You have a pastor too. … You give us that one and we’ll work with our judiciary and give back yours.”[110] The Federal judiciary alone determines extradition cases in the U.S.[113] Asked about the suggested swap on September 28, 2017, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: “I can’t imagine that we would go down that road. … We have received extradition requests for him [Gulen].” Anonymous US officials have said to reporters that the Turkish government has not yet provided sufficient evidence for the U.S. Justice Department to charge Gulen.[114]Wikipedia

  • October  2018, “Trump administration officials last month asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said.” NCB News November 15, 2018

October 12, 2018, Pastor Andrew Brunson released from Turkey to the US. Washington Post

  • December 17, 2018 Two Men Charged with Conspiracy and Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government Justice.gov

    “An indictment was unsealed today charging Bijan Rafiekian, aka Bijan Kian, 66, of San Juan Capistrano, California, and Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 41, of Istanbul, and a Turkish national, with conspiracy, acting in the United States as illegal agents of the government of Turkey, and making false statements to the FBI.

    “According to allegations in the indictment, the two men were involved in a conspiracy to covertly influence U.S. politicians and public opinion against a Turkish citizen living in the United States whose extradition had been requested by the Government of Turkey. The plot included using a company founded by Rafiekian and a person referred to as “Person A” in the indictment. The company, referred to as “Company A” in the indictment, provided services based upon Person A’s national security expertise.

    The indictment charges that the purpose of the conspiracy was to use Company A to delegitimize the Turkish citizen in the eyes of the American public and United States politicians, with the goal of obtaining his extradition, which was meeting resistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. At the same time, the conspirators sought to conceal that the Government of Turkey was directing the work. However, not only did Turkish cabinet-level officials approve the budget for the project, but Alptekin provided the Turkish officials updates on the work, and relayed their directions on the work to Rafiekian, Person A, and others at Company A.

    According to allegations in the indictment, the scheme included using a Dutch company owned by Alptekin to appear to be the “client” of Company A and to pay the company’s fee of $600,000, which was to be paid in three installments. Alptekin made the payments from an account in Turkey. The indictment alleges that after Alptekin made the payments to Company A, it was to kick back 20 percent of the payments to Alptekin’s company in the Netherlands, and two such kickbacks were made.

    Rafiekian is charged with conspiracy and acting in the United States as an illegal agent of the government of Turkey.  If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, and 10 years in prison for the charge of acting as an agent of a foreign government.

    Alptekin is charged with conspiracy, acting in the United States as an illegal agent of the government of Turkey, and four counts of making false statements to the FBI.  If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, 10 years in prison for the charge of acting as an agent of a foreign government, and 5 years in prison for each of the four false statement charges.”


August 1, 2018: Magnitsky Act Sanctions Sanctioned, were “Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu…Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for nearly two decades, was arrested later that year and charged with complicity in the attempt to overthrow Erdogan’s government. Tens of thousands of Turks were arrested on similar charges…Trump, who met with Erdogan last month at a NATO summit in Brussels, believed he had made a deal with the Turkish leader that included releasing Brunson in exchange for a Turkish woman being held in Israel on terrorism charges. Although the woman was released and deported to Istanbul, the Turkish court hearing Brunson’s case agreed last week only to allow him to leave prison for house arrest while his trial continued…Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said in a statement: “The president is not acting alone…According to the Treasury Department, Wednesday’s sanctions were imposed in accordance with an executive order Trump signed in December pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act, a human rights measure Congress passed in 2016.” U.S. sanctions two Turkish officials over detention of American pastor By Karen DeYoung Felicia Sonmez Washington Post

October 2, 2018: Jamil Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey

October 12, 2018: U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson leaves Turkey after being detained for 2 years On Oct. 12, a Turkish court ordered the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was accused of associating with plotters of a 2016 coup attempt.(Allie Caren/The Washington Post) By Erin Cunningham. .  “The pastor, who led a small evangelical congregation in the city of Izmir…U.S. officials said Thursday that the two governments had negotiated an agreement that would see Brunson released in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions on two senior Turkish cabinet ministers — penalties imposed to gain leverage in the Brunson case.”

Manafort’s guilty plea exposes hardball tactics he used to thrive in Washington swamp Washington Post   By Rosalind S. Helderman Tom Hamburger Matt Zapotosky

September 14, 2018 “Manafort also hired a group of four former government officials from other countries, including the former chancellor of Austria, the former president of Poland and the former prime minister of Italy, making it appear that European leaders were organically advocating positions helpful to his client, according to court papers. In fact, prosecutors said, the officials, whom Manafort dubbed the Hapsburg Group, were paid 2 million euros, routed through Manafort’s offshore bank accounts.

Prosecutors revealed Friday that Manafort was even able to get one member of the group into the Oval Office in May 2013 during a trip accompanying the prime minister of his country. At the meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the former official delivered a message about Ukraine, Manafort was later told in an emailPublic records show that Obama met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that day. A Turkish Embassy spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.”

Turkey says Trump working extraditing cleric Gulen

 

 

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