Did Russian intelligence warn Turkish government of impending coup?

Turkey coupRussian and Turkish authorities will not confirm or deny reports that the Kremlin warned Turkey’s intelligence services about an impending coup on July 15, several hours before tanks appeared on the streets of major Turkish cities. On Wednesday, several Arab and Iranian news outlets claimed that Russian intelligence officials told the government in Ankara that the Turkish military was preparing a coup. The reports cited anonymous Turkish diplomats who said that Turkish intelligence was urgently alerted by the Russians “hours before [the military coup] was initiated on Friday”.

According to the unconfirmed reports, the secret preparations for the coup first came to the attention of Russian military intelligence. Its radio interceptors captured —and were subsequently able to read— a series of encoded radio messages exchanged between Turkish commanders in the early hours of July 15. There is no information about the precise circumstances of the alleged interception, though media reports note the significant presence of Russian military intelligence in the northern Syrian province of Latakia, a few miles south of the Turkish border. The reports state that the intercepted messages contained “highly sensitive army exchanges” involving a plan to send army helicopters to the Turkish resort port of Marmaris, where the Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan was holidaying, in order to kill or capture him. Russian intelligence officials reportedly shared the information with senior members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The alleged exchange allegedly took place “several hours before the start of the coup” in Turkey.

However, government officials in Ankara will not comment on the possibility that Russian intelligence services may have warned the MİT about the coup. On Thursday, Russian government spokesman Dmitri Peskov was asked directly by journalists whether the Kremlin warned Turkish officials of an impending coup by the military. He responded saying “I have no information of that kind and I do not know which sources [the media reports] are citing in making these claims”. Russia’s TASS news agency interpreted Peskov’s comment as a denial. However, the wording in his response shows that he simply denies having personal knowledge of the incident. He does not deny it happened.

Author: Ian Allen | Date: 22 July 2016 | Permalink

4 Responses to Did Russian intelligence warn Turkish government of impending coup?

  1. Who did they alert though – the purported plotters or Erdogan’s loyal staff?

  2. TFH says:

    As the story looks now then Russia has had ears on Turkey after Turkeys shot down one of it´s fighters. Those ears picked up the conspiracy and warned Erdogan. Perhaps Putins men blamed a faction of the Turkish military for the downing of their jet and not Erdogan and therefore warned him against same or related faction.

  3. anonymous says:

    intelnews won’t report on the CIA connections with Gulen…didn’t even approve my comment on the last Turkey story.

    it seems likely that anyone who has cared to know could have put together the US was helping Gulen. Russia would warn anymore if they thought the US was moving against them…

  4. mehmet says:

    They very probably warned Erdogan, yes. The Russian intelligence penetration into the Gulenists is pervasive and dates back to 90s (times during which many westerners thought Russia had a very weakened intelligence infastructure) when Gulenists opened several schools both in Russia and several ex-Soviet republics. So their monitoring of the Gulenists is probably as good as that of the CIA. But this is not the only reason they knew about the coup planning. This was the highest-level intel sharing between Turkey and Russia to this date, ever. More will come

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