After the attack on the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) İzmir Provincial building in Turkey which resulted in 20 year old Kurdish woman Deniz Poyraz being murdered, the assassin Onur Gencer’s posts in his social media accounts and his statement about his military training in Syria focused people’s attention to SADAT and Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) as well as allegations about these organisations transporting weapons to jihadi organisations in Syria.
SADAT is a controversial Turkish military consultancy company, the growing role of which in training of militias, recruiting and transferring Syrian mercenaries and children to Libya has raised many questions about the nature of the company’s activity areas over the years.
The company established by a former advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been a subject of discussion due to its role in training various military factions, which were backed by Turkey to fight in cross-border missions, mainly in Syria and in Libya, and its close ties with Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The IHH, on the other hand, defines itself as an Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief. However, there has been speculations that in addition to its legitimate humanitarian activities, the IHH also provides financial and logistical support to radical Islamic terrorist networks, especially in Syria.
ANHA has reported that Turkey sent many ISIS and Free Syrian Army (FSA) members to Syria under the guise of being members of these aid organisations and made them fight there. It has also been reported that Antep province which is along the Syrian border of Turkey has become one of the important centres of these paramilitary groups’ fighters, in terms of health and logistical support, according to reports.
Gencer, who attacked the HDP Provincial building in Izmir, also made posts in Antep from his social media accounts. This also has raised questions amongst some as to whether Gencer has ties with SADAT and/or IHH.
Journalist Erk Acarer shared his evaluations with ANHA on the attack on the HDP İzmir Provincial building as well as the nature of Turkey’s aid to the FSA and other jihadist organisations through IHH and SADAT.
Acarer, who stated that the attack against the HDP’s İzmir Provincial building was similar to the attacks that had been carried out in 2015, said, “In the report published by the Human Rights Association, 602 people lost their lives and thousands were wounded between the period of 7 June – 1 November 2015. The AKP lost the elections in June and revised the solution by creating a conflict. Now, there is a similar situation going on.”
Pointing out that Gencer’s photographs with Grey Wolf symbols are the symbols AKP-MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) supporters use, Acarer said, “This Grey Wolf symbol takes us to the Turkmen mountains in Syria. Here, jihadism and the paramilitary axis can be drawn, overlapping with the Manbij-Idlib line.”
He added: “These relations are built through the Turkmen brotherhood. Here, it is seen that the attacker received training from a centre in Manbij. The attacker shares the task that he completed using a photo he took in Antep. What training did he receive there? What work was he involved in? Where is the alleged Turkish base that was presented in that post? These questions need to be asked.”
Regarding the relations of SADAT and the IHH, Acarer said, “What is SADAT and who is it? I have many cases referring to SADAT. I’m saying it once again: SADAT is Turkey’s security (Blackwater) company, founded in 2012. SADAT always denies what it has done. SADAT states it is not a domestic company, but the reality is the opposite.”
Acarer went on: “Turkey is not only a country that operates domestically but it also operates in this region since the war that broke out in Syria. How is Reyhanlı now and how were ‘liberated zones’ created in Antep? In a way, Syria was brought into Turkey.”
“Many reports document IHH’s relations with jihadist gangs. There are also reports of IHH and arms smuggling. When we bring them all together, we are faced with a large structure that extends to the government and includes the MHP and AKP.”
Emphasizing that SADAT is an organisation that trains the army, provides special training and allocates personnel, Erk Acarer stated that the leader of SADAT said that they made a proposal to change the structure of the Turkish Armed Forces right after the 15 July coup and that this was accepted.
“This person also served as the chief advisor to the president for one term. Again, in that process, he said: ‘We will establish the African Union, we will establish an Islamic Union extending from Africa to Asia, we will make Istanbul the capital city and the official religion will be Islam and our official language will be Arabic.’ He said all these sentences. What do they mean, why did he say all of this?” Acarer said.
The journalist also highlighted that Gencer, who murdered HDP’s Deniz Poyraz, was also influenced by political Islamist thoughts. “When we look at his profile, we can identify this jihadist structure from Turkmen groups. He is both affected by Turkism and also political Islamism. The profile reflected by Onur Gencer is a blend of these two,” he said.
“It also resembles the AKP-MHP alliance that has emerged today. With the end of ISIS and in losing its popularity, these new organisations are based on the FSA and have connections in Turkey. These groups carry out open work with the support of institutions such as the IHH. This structure in front of us is not like ISIS, in my opinion. It is more dangerous than ISIS.”
Stating that someone paved the way for the attack and allowed the attack to proceed, Acarer said, “The perpetrator of the massacre, Onur Gencer, enters the HDP İzmir Provincial Organisation building, waving his hand. He has been seen many times before, but for some reason, he cannot be detected. He’s dressed like he’s going to war. He has gloves and a big bag in the summer heat. The fact that the person entering the HDP building, which is under a 24-hour check, is so comfortable and does not encounter any intrusion, reminds us of the massacres that took place during the 2015 process.”
Acrer concluded that such attacks seem likely to continue: “The situation the government is going through and the fact that it is close to peace, strengthens the possibility of these attacks. There is talk of a controlled war scenario in this regard. Statements of civil war are being voiced. There have always been the risks of these kinds of attacks in Turkey.”