As the mutinous Russian mercenary group Wagner barrelled towards Moscow on June 24 before aborting the insurrection, Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu likened the private army to Turkey’s SADAT.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kilicdaroglu recalled how he stood in front of SADAT’s Istanbul headquarters in 2022 and made a statement. “I have repeatedly warned the government about SADAT. I have said that they want to destroy the Republic of Turkey and change its language, flag and constitution,” he said.
He added: “I hope that what happened in Russia will be a lesson because Russia’s Wagner is Turkey’s SADAT Inc. I declare once again we will not allow any paramilitary structure that is an enemy of the people.”
SADAT Inc. International Defense Consultancy has previously refuted Kilicdaroglu’s suspicions about its activities, saying it is simply a defence consultancy for police and armed forces and is in no way running a mercenary army.
The private military company (PMC) was founded in 2012 by former Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) brigadier general Adnan Tanriverdi and 22 other former TSK officers and non-commissioned officers. Tanriverdi, who was pushed out of Turkey’s traditionally secular army in 1996 in a purge of Islamist officers, is said to have a close relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who appointed the SADAT chief to his cabinet as chief military counsellor in 2016. Some critics have even called SADAT Erdogan’s “private militia”.
Tanriverdi resigned from his post as Erdogan’s military adviser in 2020 after telling an audience at a speech that SADAT was paving the way for the coming of the Mahdi, a messianic figure some Muslims believe will redeem mankind before the world ends.
The company’s manifesto says SADAT “aims to assist the Islamic world in taking a role among the super global powers as a self-sufficient global power”.
In the past decade, SADAT has fended off accusations that its personnel have been involved in the anti-coup operation mounted in Turkey in July 2016, training Islamist jihadists in Syria and other Middle East locations, training Syrian rebels to fight in the Syrian war, sending arms shipments to jihadist groups in Syria aligned with Turkey, transferring funds and materiel to Hamas, selling weapons to militias in the Libyan civil war and recruiting Syrian mercenaries whom it transported to Nagorno-Karabakh to fight on behalf of Azerbaijan in its 2020 war with Armenia over the disputed territory. SADAT has claimed that the accusations are part of a Western disinformation campaign designed to tarnish the image of Turkey and Erdogan.
During his crisis with Wagner, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Erdogan, who was said by his presidential office to have told Russia’s leader to show “common sense” in resolving the rebellion led by Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Source : Intellinews