Arab mass-media: Erdogan involved in kidnappings and executions of Christian priests

12:0702 Feb, 2016 6303
Photo: Unaoc

Some Arab internet-sources say that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strong relationship with terrorists and tends to give instructions to defeat Christian leaders.

“It is not a secret that relying upon the concepts of radical Islam, Turkish president dreams of reviving the Ottoman Empire. Erdogan holds ideology of the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, which rests upon the idea of Islam’s superiority to other confessions. That is why Turkey supports extremist groups in Syria. Yet, for the same reason Erdogan is willing to dispose of Christian communities’ leaders who inhabit areas, which verge upon the Syrian-Turkish border. It can further increase his influence in the region”, says.

In April 2013 they kidnapped Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim in the North of Syria near Aleppo. “It was evident that Turkish special services, fulfilling direct orders of Erdogan, were involved in kidnapping. Syrian priests were surely taken to the town of Mashhad”, the article says.

Al-Alam Iranian TV-channel says that Syrian priests have stayed long in Turkey though Turkish authorities take no pains to help release them. However, arrest of a terrorist is said to have disrupted the plans of Turkish special services. In July of 2013 they detained a Dagestani native Ali Muhammad Abdrahman, nicknamed ‘Abu Banat’ on the charge of illegal possession of weapons. He commanded a battalion comprising foreign militants, who fought Syrian army. It was found out that Abu Banat had arrived in Turkey to recover from a wound. Later on, in the course of investigation, he confessed that he had an agreement with Turkish special services and it had been him who kidnapped and murdered Syrian archbishops in Aleppo. Moreover, the militant stated that before going on mission he had received from Abu Djafar, a special service officer, some equipment, including portable radio sets as well as a radar detector. The Turkish intelligence used the equipment to supervise and manage the execution of operation.

Abu Banat draw attention of the Turkish police after both mass media and the Internet had distributed a video clip where he executed Francois Murad, a catholic priest who had been accused of collaborating with governmental forces. A Turkish police officer had watched the video and reported it to his authorities. Thus, Abu Banat was detained. Despite terrorist’s testimonies of cooperating with Turkey’s special services in kidnapping the Syrian archbishops, Turkish authorities simply ignored them. Turkey’s officials tried to interfere with further disclosure fearing it could affect Erdogan’s interests.

In September of 2013 a lawyer Metin Erkan had investigated the case and told the truth to the public. Inspite of the fact Abu Banat had confirmed beheading 70 persons, who had not related to Wahhabis, they did not file a criminal case against him. Abu Banat was justified as the crime he had committed was connected to internal Syrian crisis.

A Turkish deputy, Erol Dora, said that under Turkey’s legislation Abu Banat had to be judged to the fullest extent of the law. However, Turkish courts did not obey to the law while the most important things in the ‘Ottoman state’ were Erdogan’s interests as well as those of special services subordinate to him.

As a result, on July 15, 2015 the militant was sentenced just to 7.5 years in prison for illegal possession of weapons and participation in terrorist group’s activity. “Such a lenient sentence seems to be due to cooperation between Abu Banat and Turkish special services that execute Erdogan’s orders. It goes without saying that they will not let the information disclosure happen of their relations with Syrian terrorist groups” – an article says.

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