A new audio leak reveals secret conversations which allegedly took place between intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, FM Ahmet Davutoğlu, FM undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and General Yaşar Güler. In the leaked audio they talk about arming Syrian rebels and attacking Turkish soil for casus belli if necessary.
Here is the full transcript:
ELECTION DRIVEN WAR PLANS – I
“Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen
as an opportunity for us.”
“I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile
attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”
“Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”
“It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”
Ahmet Davutoğlu: I couldn’t entirely understand the other thing; what exactly does our foreign
ministry supposed to do? No, I’m not talking about the thing. There are other things we’re supposed
to do. If we decide on this, we are to notify the United Nations, the Istanbul Consulate of the Syrian
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: But if we decide on an operation in there, it should create a shocking effect. I
mean, if we are going to do so. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but regardless of what we
decide, I don’t think it’d be appropriate to notify anyone beforehand.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: OK, but we’re gonna have to prepare somehow. To avoid any shorts on regarding
international law. I just realized when I was talking to the president (Abdullah Gül), if the Turkish
tanks go in there, it means we’re in there in any case, right?
Yaşar Güler: It means we’re in, yes.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Yeah, but there’s a difference between going in with aircraft and going in with
Yaşar Güler: Maybe we can tell the Syrian consulate general that, ISIL is currently working alongside
the regime, and that place is Turkish land. We should definitely…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: But we have already said that, sent them several diplomatic notes.
Yaşar Güler: To Syria… Feridun Sinirlioğlu: That’s right.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Yes, we’ve sent them countless times. Therefore, I’d like to know what our Chief
of Staff’s expectations from our ministry.
Yaşar Güler: Maybe his intent was to say that, I don’t really know, he met with Mr. Fidan.
Hakan Fidan: Well, he did mention that part but we didn’t go into any further details.
Yaşar Güler: Maybe that was what he meant… A diplomatic note to Syria?
Hakan Fidan: Maybe the Foreign Ministry is assigned with coordination…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: I mean, I could coordinate the diplomacy but civil war, the military…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: That’s what I told back there. For one thing, the situation is different. An
operation on ISIL has solid ground on international law. We’re going to portray this is Al-Qaeda,
there’s no distress there if it’s a matter regarding Al-Qaeda. And if it comes to defending Suleiman
Shah Tomb, that’s a matter of protecting our land.
Yaşar Güler: We don’t have any problems with that.
Hakan Fidan: Second after it happens, it’ll cause a great internal commotion (several bombing events
is bound to happen within). The border is not under control…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I mean, yes, the bombings are of course going to happen. But I remember our
talk from 3 years ago…
Yaşar Güler: Mr. Fidan should urgently receive back-up and we need to help him supply guns and
ammo to rebels. We need to speak with the minister. Our Interior Minister, our Defense Minister.
We need to talk about this and reach a resolution sir.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: How did we get specials forces into action when there was a threat in Northern
Iraq? We should have done so in there, too. We should have trained those men. We should have sent
men. Anyway, we can’t do that, we can only do what diplomacy…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I told you back then, for God’s sake, general, you know how we managed to get
those tanks in, you were there.
Yaşar Güler: What, you mean our stuff?
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Yes, how do you think we’ve managed to rally our tanks into Iraq? How? How did
manage to get special forces, the battalions in? I was involved in that. Let me be clear, there was no
government decision on that, we have managed that just with a single order.
Yaşar Güler: Well, I agree with you. For one thing, we’re not even discussing that. But there are
different things that Syria can do right now. Ahmet Davutoğlu: General, the reason we’re saying no this operation is because we know about the
capacity of those men.
Yaşar Güler: Look, sir, isn’t MKE (Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation) at minister’s
bidding? Sir, I mean, Qatar is looking for ammo to buy in cash. Ready cash. So, why don’t they just
get it done? It’s at Mr. Minister’s command.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: But there’s the spot we can’t act integratedly, we can’t coordinate.
Yaşar Güler: Then, our Prime Minister can summon both Mr. Defence Minister and Mr. Minister at
the same time. Then he can directly talk to them.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: We, Mr. Siniroğlu and I, have literally begged Mr. Prime Minster for a private
meeting, we said that things were not looking so bright.
Yaşar Güler: Also, it doesn’t have to be crowded meeting. Yourself, Mr. Defence Minister, Mr.
Interior Minister and our Chief of Staff, the four of you are enough. There’s no need for a crowd.
Because, sir, the main need there is guns and ammo. Not even guns, mainly ammo. We’ve just talked
about this, sir. Let’s say we’re building an army down there, 1000 strong. If we get them into that war
without previously storing a minimum of 6-months’ worth of ammo, these men will return to us after
Ahmet Davutoğlu: They’re back already.
Yaşar Güler: They’ll return to us, sir.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: They’ve came back from… What was it? Çobanbey.
Yaşar Güler: Yes, indeed, sir. This matter can’t be just a burden on Mr. Fidan’s shoulders as it is now.
It’s unacceptable. I mean, we can’t understand this. Why?
Ahmet Davutoğlu: That evening we’d reached a resolution. And I thought that things were taking a
turn for the good. Our…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: We issued the MGK (National Security Council) resolution the day after. Then we
talked with the general…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: And the other forces really do a good follow up on this weakness of ours. You say
that you’re going to capture this place, and that men being there constitutes a risk factor. You pull
them back. You capture the place. You reinforce it and send in your troops again.
Yaşar Güler: Exactly, sir. You’re absolutely right.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Right? That’s how I interpret it. But after the evacuation, this is not a military
necessity. It’s a whole other thing.
Feridun Siniroğlu: There are some serious shifts in global and regional geopolitics. It now can spread
to other places. You said it yourself today, and others agreed… We’re headed to a different game
now. We should be able to see those. That ISIL and all that jazz, all those organizations are extremely
open to manipulation. Having a region made up of organizations of similar nature will constitute a
vital security risk for us. And when we first went into Northern Iraq, there was always the risk of PKK
blowing up the place. If we thoroughly consider the risks and substantiate… As the general just said…
Yaşar Güler: Sir, when you were inside a moment ago, we were discussing just that. Openly. I mean,
armed forces are a “tool” necessary for you in every turn.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Of course. I always tell the Prime Minister, in your absence, the same thing in
academic jargon, you can’t stay in those lands without hard power. Without hard power, there can
be no soft power.
Yaşar Güler: Sir.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: The national security has been politicized. I don’t remember anything like this in
Turkish political history. It has become a matter of domestic policy. All talks we’ve done on defending
our lands, our border security, our sovereign lands in there, they’ve all become a common, cheap
domestic policy outfit.
Yaşar Güler: Exactly.
Feridun Siniroğlu: That has never happened before. Unfortunately but…
Yaşar Güler: I mean, do even one of the opposition parties support you in such a high point of
national security? Sir, is this a justifiable sense of national security?
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I don’t even remember such a period.
Yaşar Güler: In what matter can we be unified, if not a matter of national security of such
Ahmet Davutoğlu: The year 2012, we didn’t do it 2011. If only we’d took serious action back then,
even in the summer of 2012.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: They were at their lowest back in 2012.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Internally, they were just like Libya. Who comes in and goes from power is not of
any importance to us. But some things…
Yaşar Güler: Sir, to avoid any confusion, our need in 2011 was guns and ammo. In 2012, 2013 and
today also. We’re in the exact same point. We absolutely need to find this and secure that place. Ahmet Davutoğlu: Guns and ammo are not a big need for that place. Because we couldn’t get the
human factor in order…
Yaşar Güler: I mean on which subject will we be able to act together? If we can’t act together for national security, on which subject will we act together? None.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: We did not do it on 2012, 2011. If we could make bold decisions on 2012..
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: They were at their weakest on 2012.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: It was like Libya inside. People were rising and falling and changing but it wasn’t our concern.
Yaşar Güler: Sir don’t get me wrong, in 2011 our primary needs were guns and ammo. It’s was the same in 2012 and 2013. We are still at the same point. We need to find them and save this place.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Guns and ammo are not needed that much there. We couldn’t organize the people, that’s why…
Hakan Fidan: We sent about 2000 trucks full of supply there.
Yaşar Güler: I think guns are not needed there. My personal view is that ammo is needed. Yes sir. Mr. Hakan is here, we said that we could send one general. Mr. Hakan wanted this too. We designated a general and sent him.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: To be practical, I think our defense minister should sign the documents needed for our people as soon as possible.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Actually tonight…
Yaşar Güler: Tonight sir, we have no problem.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Operation is ordered for tonight.
Yaşar Güler: We sent an operation order message, Mr. Hakan may have knowledge.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Hakan, if send tanks what are the possible complications?
Hakan Fidan: Without coordination, if we don’t take the power balance into account…
Yaşar Güler: That’s why we want MIT’s cooperation sir.
Hakan Fidan: It’s not possible without armed personnel and capacity.
Yaşar Güler: That’s why we stipulate MIT coordination. There is nothing you should be worried about tonight or for the future. But there is something we must solve in the long run.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: I think about that thing as an option but we couldn’t convince those people. We are planning to enter with tanks. We need to consider ourselves at war after that, but between entering war and that we are operating.
Yaşar Güler: It’s an act of war. What we are going to do is directly an act of war.
Hakan Fidan: Not with Syria.
Yaşar Güler: No the man…
Hakan Fidan: But my point is; we know that two plus two is four. Now if we, I mean that thing there has no strategic importance to us but it’s about our image. I mean if we are going to enter war, let’s plan it and do it. Now my…
Yaşar Güler: We are saying the same thing since day one.
Hakan Fidan: What I can’t accept is, now if we consider using weapons for a tomb like Suleyman Shah, I mean as just 10 acres of Turkish land we risk using weapons, for 22-28 soldiers there, there are thousands of kilometers of Turkish soil, millions of poeple near the border, that why we don’t take that risk.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: There is an excuse for that…
Hakan Fidan: Using that as an excuse is different.
Yaşar Güler: Foreign Ministry can not find an excuse for the other thing but we can for this…
Hakan Fidan: Look, I’ll tell you something…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Between us, on the phone prime minister said this (an attack on Suleyman Shah Tomb) must be utilized as an opportunity in this conjuncture.
Hakan Fidan: General look, if we need an excuse I can send four men to the other side, send eight rockets to an empty ground. It’s no problem. We can produce reason. We just need such will. We are displaying a will for war, then we make the same mistake we always do, we think too much.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Now it’s ten acres of land. 10 acres of Turkish soil is a great excuse in international law, as for legitimacy if we attack ISIL all the world will back this operation. There is no hesitation.
Yaşar Güler: We have no hesitation.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: No, I’m saying this to all of us, I mean on that matter…
Yaşar Güler: Our forces there have been ready and waiting for a year sir. It’s not a measure we took yesterday, they have been there for one year.
Hakan Fidan: Why are we waiting for Suleyman Shah, I don’t get it?
Ahmet Davutoğlu: We made every possible diplomatic move.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: We need an excuse, a solid excuse.
Hakan Fidan: I can produce that, no problem.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Producing is another thing, there is already a solid excuse.
Hakan Fidan: We can attack there (Tomb of Suleyman Shah) if needed, we can make them attack there. What I’m trying to understand is…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Of course these can be done, we can do everything.
Hakan Fidan: If we are ready to use these, let’s designate time and place and do it.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Hakan, if you mean there is a lack of strategy and that’s why we need to produce reason, you are right. Against these men…
Official: Sir before that thing happens…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Ok we’ll move there, I’ll be coming. We cannot tell US foreign ministry again that we need to take harsh measures.
Hakan Fidan: Now sir, what I mean is…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: They will tell us that we couldn’t defend our own lend. We had friendly conversations before, Kerry asked me if we had decided to use force several times before.
Yaşar Güler: Sir we gave, we gave a hundred times. With America…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Three days ago general staff held an emergency meeting. I’m seeing that for the first time. The Americans…
Yaşar Güler: No, we do that all the time!
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: No no, Americans distributed No Fly Zone plans in this meeting. Did you know that?
Hakan Fidan: Sir if we are ready to make such an important decision now about the Tomb of Suleyman Shah…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: No, not just Suleyman Shah.
Hakan Fidan: What I’m saying is, if we are ready to do that, we should have made the decision by now. Because of the threats and profits. I mean weakness as a state and strategic decisions…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Yes if we did make taht decision on a smaller scale before, we wouldn’t have been forced to make this one today.
Yaşar Güler: No wait, we did make that decision.
Hakan Fidan: It wasn’t carried out.
Yaşar Güler: We can’t carry it out, we are paralyzed for several reasons sir, that’s our problem. State instruments are not working right now.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Let me be clear; I’ll be looking at my own side, the state manners I was trained for dictates that. Would you accept that if someone told the Foreign Ministry that things are not working because of political debates…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Such a thing wouldn’t be legitimate! Everyone will carry out what they must with resolution. What would you do if an ambassador told you “They are taking everyone in sir, they might take me in too!”? Won’t we tell him to retire and bring someone else who can do the job? It’s how we should look at this situation. That’s how democracy works.
Yaşar Güler: You are right sir.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Now the state is driven by a few people and agencies who can make proper decisions. This is…
Yaşar Güler: Definitely sir, definitely.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Are we going to give up on this?
Yaşar Güler: No sir, we won’t give up.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Ok, whatever. Let’s move to the other place.