Column on Erdoğan’s alleged ‘private army’ removed by court

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A column by Cumhuriyet’s Çiğdem Toker on SADAT A.S. International Defense Consulting, which has also been called President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “secret army,” was removed by court decision on Tuesday.

Toker wrote on her Twitter account that she learned about the ban on access to her column about SADAT A.S. with a message from a reader. In September, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had asked the government about the alleged role of SADAT in training Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members.

The firm, which provides training in advanced war techniques and asymmetrical warfare, had admitted that they were in touch with the Free Syrian Army for consulting purposes and transmitted their request for training to the Turkish state.

Toker’s column dated  July 11, 2016 has been removed by a verdict of İstanbul’s 5th Penal Court of Peace with no information provided as to the reasoning for the decision.

SADAT was directed by retired Brig. Gen. Adnan Tanrıverdi, who was recently appointed as adviser to President Erdoğan. However, the company, which was established by Tanrıverdi and delivered asymmetrical warfare services according to information on its own website, removed the names of advisors from the company profile.

Toker wrote in her column today that the company removed the list of a wide range of advisors, from Üsküdar University president psychiatrist Nevzat Tarhan to professor of economics Mehmet Zelka.

Toker said she does not know if such a change was due to Tanrıverdi’s appointment as an advisor to President Erdoğan.

According to columnist Abdullah Bozkurt, who calls SADAT Erdoğan’s private army, the man who runs it, Tanrıverdi, is the point man who will reshape NATO’s largest army after the US by steering recruitment policy until 2020. Tanrıverdi is known for his Islamist ideology and has counseled Erdoğan for years although in an unofficial capacity, Bozkurt wrote for Turkish Minute on Nov. 25.

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