You're about to read a very, very strange story. We begin by taking note of a national insult -- the sort of insult which, in the 19th century, might have led to war.
A debate about the Gaza attack was held at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Israeli President Simon Peres attended, as did Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The panel was moderated by David Ignatius of the Washington Post
Peres spoke for nearly half an hour -- well beyond his allotted time -- while Erdogan patiently took notes. When Erdogan's turn finally came, he accused Peres of speaking loud and long to cover up his guilt. Ignatius (who happens to be both Jewish and Armenian) quickly cut him off, outraging many onlookers. Erdogan stormed out
The Turkish PM stressed later that he had left the debate not because of his disagreements with Mr Peres but because he had been given much less time to speak than the Israeli leader.
Erdogan returned home to a hero's welcome.
Turkey has long been one of Israel's few allies. (For some interesting backstory on the Israeli-Turkish alliance, see this piece
by Victor Ostrovsky.) After the Davos confrontation, that partnership may be at an end -- and the ramifications are disturbing.
The debate debacle appears to have been designed
to sour Turkey's relations with Israel (and the U.S.). If so, we should pay closer attention to David Ignatius. Other Post
reporters have been known to practice a trade other than journalism. (Cough cough
Chris Wren cough cough
I believe that this international dust-up concerns something more than a high-level debate beset by a biased moderator.
Although few Americans have noted the story, Mossad recently tried to mount a coup against Turkey. At least, so says the Turkish press
That's no small matter. Turkey, for all of its many faults, is a key NATO ally and an important partner in the war on terror (to the extent that there remains a real
war on terror).
Israel's national intelligence agency Mossad has been behind a failed coup in Turkey, the Turkish daily newspaper Milliyet reports.
A secret investigation into detained Ergenekon group members and other studies outside Turkey indicate that Mossad orchestrated the coup plot against the Turkish government, the report says.
The Ergenekon group is a Turkish neo-nationalist organization with alleged links to the military, members of which have been arrested on charges of plotting to foment unrest in the country.
Investigators uncovered evidence that show a Jewish rabbi named Tuncay Guney, who worked for Mossad and fled to Canada in 2004, was a key figure behind attempts to overthrow the Turkish government.
A document uncovered this week by the /Sabah/ daily shows how Guney purposefully infiltrated Ergenekon and another organization known as JITEM, an illegal intelligence unit in the gendarmerie suspected of hundreds of murders and kidnappings.
The rabbi was taken out of Turkey and sent to the US for protection after his identity was exposed in an investigation by Turkish police, according to Sabah.
Guney is also reported to have links with Israeli espionage activities in Egypt. According to Egyptian security forces, at least one of three suspects currently being pursued by the Egyptian government for spying was in contact with Tuncay Guney.
The Turkish news article summarized above was preceded by this report
written by -- egads! -- Wayne Madsen. I've had serious problems with Madsen's reportage in the past. He's right about half the time, and I usually can't tell which half is which, since he relies on unnamed sources. In this case, I suspect
that he may be onto something, but I'm not sure. Caveat lector
One thing's for sure: Guney appears to be a lint-trap for occult speculation. He's a fascinating guy.
A Turkish citizen with "business" links to Russia and Egypt, he is listed as the chief rabbi for this synagogue
in Toronto. But he may not even be Jewish.
His mother teaches the Koran. Other sources say that he converted to Christianity in 2004. He now likes to blather on about being an Egyptian "Sabbatian" Jew. Believe that if you will.
Some speculate that he is actually CIA -- an allegation which, if proven true, might mean that this very post has been mis-headlined.
of Guney's life is downright wild, especially when it discusses the man's stay in New York (where he was obviously
up to spy stuff) and his dealings with evangelicals. (The CIA has often used evangelical missions for cover.)
Actually, Guney's synagogue in Canada appears to be an intelligence front.
The Toronto Board of Rabbis has no record of a rabbi by his name.
The communications director of the United Jewish Appeal in Toronto, Howard English, did not recognize him or his synagogue. The education director of the Toronto branch of Jews for Judaism, rabbi Michael Skobac, did not recognize him, and could not reach them by e-mail.
The pseudo-synagogue's website lists him as Daniel T. Guney. The Turks and the Egyptians say that he has used the alias Daniel Levi.
By the way: The very complete Guney entry offered by Wikipedia looks to me like a dossier compiled by an intelligence professional, using open-source materials. This isn't the only Wikipedia entry to convey that impression.
For more clues, see this article
on Guney in The Star
Guney is connected with a secretive, ultra-reactionary "cabal" in Turkey called Ergenekon, which has long stood accused of perpetrating terrorism. It's the Turkish version of Italy's P2.
Ergenekon takes a fervently anti-Western, pro-Fascist line. The group is willing to kill in order to separate Turkey from the U.S., Israel and the rest of Europe.
Ergenekon network mainly aims to break Turkey's ties with the NATO and the West in general. Most of the Ergenekon members are anti-Semitic and ultra-Turkist. They claim that the MOSSAD and Israel in general has played a dirty role in Turkish politics. Almost all of them are anti-Semitic. Some of the Ergenekon intellectuals wrote anti-Semitic books and started anti-Semitic campaigns in order to spread their anit-Israeli opinion among the people. They claim the US, the EU and Israel have made efforts to divide the country.
In an earlier post
, I noted that
The intellectual head of the movement, Ümit Sayin, is a Hitler admirer
If Guney is a rabbi, why is a rabbi
aiding such a group? If Guney is Mossad, why is a Mossad agent
aiding such a group? If Guney is CIA, why is a CIA agent
aiding such a group?This report
holds that Guney had infiltrated the group on behalf of MIT (Turkey's CIA). But it also says that Guney was more of an informant than an agent provacateur
. And, as noted above, the Turkish government
avers that Guney did everything he could to help Ergenekon bring down that government and hoist a hard-right faction into the seat of power.
I'm trying to figure out the man's motive.
Did Guney aid
Ergenekon, or was his task infiltration
? Milliyet, the Turkish journal, says that Guney manipulated the terror group. If the Milliyet report is correct, why would a Mossad agent (if Guney really is such) want to help a pro-Hitler, anti-Israel group achieve prominence?
(I'm reminded of our earlier post, in which we learned that Israel helped Hamas come to power.)
And why (to bring matters full circle) did the President of Israel go out of his way to alienate the leader of the one nation in the Islamic world that had befriended Israel? Was that epic slight linked to the claimed Mossad coup attempt?
I honestly cannot fathom what the goal