Turkish lawyer files criminal conspiracy complaint against top U.S. military leaders

by WorldTribune Staff, August 3, 2016

A Turkish lawyer has accused top U.S. military officials of conspiring with Turkish coup plotters at Incirlik air base.

The lawyer on Aug. 2 filed a criminal complaint against Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Joseph Votel, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East, and U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper for their alleged involvement in the July 15 coup attempt by members of the Turkish military.

From left: James Clapper, Gen. Joseph Dunford, Gen. Joseph Votel
From left: James Clapper, Gen. Joseph Dunford, Gen. Joseph Votel

The complaint, which has to be accepted by Turkish prosecutors before any action is taken, says the U.S. officials conspired with a faction of the Turkish military at Incirlik. Turkish fighter jets and refueling tankers used in the coup attempt came from Incirlik, according to the complaint. The U.S. uses Incirlik to conduct air operations against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq.

Votel issued a statement denying the conspiracy theories that were circulated in Turkish media. “Any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate and completely inaccurate,” he said in a July 29 statement issued by U.S. Central Command.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently told Votel to “know your place” after Votel expressed concern that the post-coup crackdown may affect the fight against ISIL.

Erdogan on Aug. 2 again slammed unnamed Western countries for what he said was support for the attempted coup.

“The West is supporting terrorism and taking sides with coups,” Erdogan said. “They have actors inside [Turkey] but the scenario of this coup was written abroad.”

Turkey’s government says the coup was instigated by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally now living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Turkey has demanded his extradition, but Washington has asked for evidence of the cleric’s involvement.

Erdogan complained about the U.S. request: “We did not request documents for terrorists that you wanted returned.”