Did Qatar bribe Turkey to fast track troop deployment?
Agencies | Ismaeel Naar
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
A report claiming that the Turkish ruling party accepted a $65 million bribe from a Qatari intelligence officer to fast track the deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar, has now been denied by Turkey.
The Stockholm-based Nordic Monitor in its report last month claimed that a senior member of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) received a bribe from Qatari intelligence for troop deployment.
The claims quote a 19-page intelligence report discussed in a Turkish court during a trial. The document reportedly described how Ahmet Berat Conkar, the head of the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs commission in 2015, secretly communicated and accepted a $65 million bribe from a Qatari intelligence officer to fast track the military deal with Qatar through Turkey’s parliament.
According to the Nordic Monitor, the intelligence report was brought up by Rear Adm. Sinan Surer during his trial over his alleged role in the failed military coup of 2016. Surer, who was responsible for the external intelligence branch of the Turkish military at the time, raised details of the document during his testimony after accusations by pro-Erdogan Turkish media outlets that he had prepared it himself.
“The reason for his insistence is that pro-Erdogan media picked up some parts from the document and published fake stories as if he was the one who wrote it. He sent corrections to the media, filed a motion with the prosecutor’s office with no avail,” Nordic Monitor’s director Abdullah Bozkurt told Al Arabiya.
Allegations during Surer’s testimony
However in a written statement to Al Arabiya by Turkey’s Consul General in Dubai on Monday, Conkar himself rejected the allegation of bribery and instead alleged that the Nordic Monitor affiliates with the movement allegedly behind the 2016 Turkish coup attempt.
“The allegation of bribery in the article, referring as its source to the website ‘Nordic Monitor’ owned and run by persons known to be affiliated to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO), is a disgraceful utterance of completely ungrounded slanders that serves as black propaganda,” Conkar said, in the statement sent by Turkey’s Consul General in Dubai Ilker Kilic.
In response, Nordic Monitor told Al Arabiya that the allegations were made during Surer’s testimony in a Turkish court after the intelligence was intercepted by Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency and that Conkar should therefore redirect his complaint to Turkish intelligence.
“According to the information obtained from a source, Berat Conkar communicated with a Qatari intelligence officer before the session [in the Foreign Affairs Committee] to push the law [that allowed the deployment of Turkish military units in Qatar] and received a $65 million bribe,” the Nordic Monitor quoted Surer as saying in the article.
“It has nothing to do with a coup attempt, and it took place before that,” the author of the article told Al Arabiya.
The author also confirmed crosschecking some of the allegations such as the changing of the dates in the Foreign Affairs Commission.