International Business Times reports: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ban of YouTube occurred after a leaked conversation between Head of Turkish Intelligence Hakan Fidan and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu that he wanted removed from the video-sharing website.
The leaked call details Erdogan’s thoughts that an attack on Syria “must be seen as an opportunity for us [Turkey]”.
In the conversation, intelligence chief Fidan says that he will send four men from Syria to attack Turkey to “make up a cause of war”.
Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Yaşar Güler replies that Fidan’s projected actions are “a direct cause of war…what you’re going to do is a direct cause of war”.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said the leaked recording of top officials discussing the Syria operation was “partially manipulated” and is a “wretched attack” on national security.
In the leaked video, Fidan is discussing with Davutoğlu, Güler and other officials a possible operation within Syria to secure the tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman empire.
Full transcript (translated by @castizbey): [Continue reading…]
Reuters adds: Turkey threatened two weeks ago to retaliate for any attack on the tomb following clashes between militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al Qaeda breakaway group, and rival rebel groups in the area, east of Aleppo near the Turkish border.
“An operation against ISIL has international legitimacy. We will define it as al Qaeda. There are no issues on the al Qaeda framework. When it comes to the Suleyman Shah tomb, it’s about the protection of national soil,” a voice presented as that of foreign ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu says.
When the discussion turns to the need to justify such an operation, the voice purportedly of Fidan says: “Now look, my commander, if there is to be justification, the justification is, I send four men to the other side. I get them to fire eight missiles into empty land. That’s not a problem. Justification can be created.”
The foreign ministry said it was natural for state officials to discuss defending Turkish territory.
“In the meeting it was confirmed that Turkey would take necessary steps decisively to protect the security of our personnel at the Suleyman Shah tomb and Turkey’s will to defend it in the face of an attack was reiterated,” the statement said.