2018-04-19

Retired Russian General Buzhinsky: Central Incirlik on July 15; Putin helped Erdogan during coup attempt


Between 1984-1986, retired Russian General Evgeny Buzhinsky, who served in the Russian embassy in Ankara, said that on the night of the 15 July coup attempt Russian President Vladimir Putin helped President Tayyip Erdogan. Gen.Buzhinsky, responding to claims that the philosopher Aleksandr Dugin conveyed his knowledge of the coup attempt to Ankara, said, "I can say that Dugin can say what he wants, but I do not think it was like he says. It was Russian intelligence who conveyed information to their Turkish counterparts."

- You attended the last Moscow Security Conference Week. What analysis were done during 2 days in regards to Ankara?

We were talking about economic, political, very good relations in every sense. Especially Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is an important step in relations. Militaryly, if the delivery of the S-400 air defense systems is completed, which I'm not sure is possible, it will be a very important step.

- Why are you not sure?

About 10 years ago, I spoke with the US Deputy Defense Secretary. That conversation taught me a lot. Ankara wanted to buy a helicopter. We had a K-50 attack helicopter on the one hand, and the Augusta Bell model helicopter on the other. Ours was better in every respect but Turkey eventually took the helicopter from the Americans. I spoke with the US Deputy Minister about the issue and he said: "Turkey is a NATO member, you can sell them guns, even tanks. But you can never sell military aircraft, war ships, attack helicopters and air defense systems." For this reason, I can guess, we can talk about American pressure on the Turkish government.

- Rouhani and Putin visited Turkey. How do you think meetings went?

When you look at the way that President Erdogan addresses guest leaders, you see that Iran wants to underline sincere relations with Russia. Obviously Turkey-Iran relations does not interest me very much. But on Syria, the level of cooperation between the three countries is quite satisfactory.

- How did the officials in Washington feel when they saw the sincere atmosphere of the three leaders' meeting in Ankara?

I do not think they're happy at all. A lot of startling feeling is seen on the American side. But they are to blame, they are themselves responsible. You know the reason for all these disagreements were reason to threaten the President Erdogan.

- You think the coup attempt was organized by Washington ... ?

I can not say I have a lot of knowledge about this, but I trust the information from the Turkish government. And the center of the coup was the Incirlik Base, American air base.

- After the Summit here, in the Russian media "Turkey is our first friendly" comments were made. Is it really?

Turkey and the Balkans throughout the years, we have Opponents in the Black Sea. Fighting bile. 2. After the Second World War took place in western Turkey on the block. Closer view let's history, Syria, Turkey was not friendly at the beginning of our Civil War. You've even dropped your orgasm. But after the BBC correspondent, our leaders found a way to conduct the relationship. I do not know the exact information, but I hear President Putin Erdogan's coup initiative helped the night. That is why he is thankful to Putin.

- Philosopher Aleksander Dugin says that he sent intelligence on the upcoming coup to Ankara ...

Dugin can tell what he wants, I do not think he did so. Russian intelligence has forwarded it to Turkish counterparts.

- The Russian jet was downed, the Russian envoy Karlov was assassinated. Lots of up and downs. But bilateral relationships, nevertheless, go on. How is it possible?

Such accidents can always happen. Considering there is a war in the middle of all this. After the fall of the jet, had President Erdogan immediately apologized, relations were not severed. It was first statements of the Turkish officials that  angered Putin. In Moscow, they got believing that Turks "knowingly shot down the jet". But in Karlov's case Ankara's reaction was very fast and correct. Later after the tragedy they made very right step to give Karlov's name to a street with our embassy in Ankara. All of this has improved our relationships.

- Most Americans I talked to say, "Russia is so flexible only to attract a NATO member country to their side." What can you say?

I do not think so. Look, NATO countries are not all the same. Some have stronger national stances. Turkey is the best example. It is a NATO member but not an ally subordinate to the United States. Turkey is a big country, the economy is strong, possesses over strategic territory ... I think the biggest goal of Russia is to build robust and reliable relationship. Economically and politically. I'm not so sure about the military wing. Our leaders know well that it is not possible to pull out Turkey from NATO.

- The relationship of Russia and Turkey are not without problems in the Syrian issue. What are the common points and the difficult points in bilateral ties?

When you look at the statements made after the summit in Turkey, you will see that Syria's territorial integrity is fundamental in common. Compared with a situation 5 years ago in Turkey when they used to say "Assad must go", we see  a change in this position. Another important issue is the Kurds. I worked in Ankara, I know how the Turks think. Kurds in Syria, establishing their own territory, is a nightmare for Turkey. Turkey will never allow it to happen. Erdogan is ready to go until the end in this issue without looking at what NATO, US or anybody says. Moscow's position on the Kurds is very clever. What did Putin say? "Kurds can define their own fate like every people, but they have to do it in a unified Syrian state." Kurds say to Russia, "Why do not you support us?" My answer is: You have chosen your side. Please go now and talk to Washington. We do not want to jeopardize our relations with Turkey.

- Russia also had connections with YPG. Did Putin make a choice in Afrin issue? Because YPG thinks now that Russia is betraying ...

(Laughing!) Why do they feel like we betrayed them? No. They chose it. If they stayed with Russia, Putin'd called upon them saying: "behave, wait, do not tease Turkey, don't try to partition Syria".

- So I would like to ask if YPG completely lost Russia now?

No. Because they are not that stupid. Afrin is not the only land they have on this planet. Life goes on. Sooner or later they will find a way to cooperate with Russia. They are to adopt a low profile for a while and will not go after what they can not do. Even Americans are not stupid enough to fight with Turkey because of them.

- Iran allegedly wanted Turkey to give the Afrin to regime. Could it be true?

I do not think that there is a plan of Turkey for occupation of Syrian territory. When the civil war is over I think that Erdogan will reach a conclusion in context of united Syria.

- Trump said, "We will withdraw from Syria." Then he gave up withdrawing shortly after. What are you trying to do?

There is a lot of confusion in Washington, if the anti-Russian hysteria is to put an edge. There's no such thing as Trump and his cabine. The president says something, the next day the foreign affairs denies it. He writes something on Twitter, then he says the opposite. It's like a madhouse.

- Trump called for money from the Saudis, invited French soldiers to Manbij. Does the president want to share the cost of the Syrian war? Do they bluff when they say "we will withdraw"?

Trump is very practical as a business person. He assessed the situation and saw that it was not possible for the United States to succeed in Syria anymore. They will not be able to fulfill any goals. Trump thinks it would be wise to say, "We finished the ISIS, we were successful, we are taking it now". If he pulls the troops, I think Putin calls Trump and congratulates him.

Full article in Turkish: http://t24.com.tr/haber/emekli-rus-general-buzhinsky-15-temmuzun-merkezi-incirlikti-putin-darbe-girisiminde-erdogana-yardimci-oldu,601602

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