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UAE ‘funnelled money to Turkish coup plotters’

mohammed dahlan

Mohammed Dahlan is considered to have close ties to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan

The United Arab Emirates’ government collaborated with coup plotters in Turkey before the unsuccessful attempt was launched, using exiled Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan as a go-between with the US-based cleric accused by Turkey of orchestrating the plot, sources close to one of Turkey’s intelligence services told Middle East Eye.

Dahlan is alleged to have transferred money to the plotters in Turkey in the weeks before the coup attempt and to have communicated with Fethullah Gulen, the cleric alleged by Turkey to have masterminded the plot, via a Palestinian businessman based in the US.

The identity of this man, who is close to Dahlan, is known to a Turkish intelligence service.

Throughout the night of the coup on 15 July, pan-Arab media based in Dubai including Sky News Arabic and Al Arabiya reported that the coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party had been successful.

At one point, media outlets influenced by the Emirates claimed that Erdogan had fled the country. Still, there is no suggestion that the media outlets were involved in the coup.

It took the government of the UAE 16 hours – one hour after a statement by Saudi Arabia – to condemn the coup and to support Erdogan as the legitimate president of Turkey.

According to sources who spoke to MEE, the UAE then launched an operation to distance itself from Dahlan.

UAE indicated on social media that there was “anger with Dahlan”. Shortly afterwards, he was forced to leave the UAE and is understood to be in Egypt.

Dahlan is a former leader of the Palestinian political party Fatah who was exiled from Gaza and the West Bank and is thought to have close ties to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

He is alleged to have been used as a conduit for UAE funds and communications in various operations throughout the Middle East.

MEE reported in May that the UAE, Jordan and Egypt had identified Dahlan as a favoured successor to the current Fatah leader, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Dahlan is also linked to attempts to stoke the civil war in Libya. In a secret recording of Abbas Kamel, then-office manager of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Kamel revealed that Dahlan, accompanied by three people, would secretly visit Libya on a private jet.

Kamel recommended that a military official allow Dahlan to leave the Libyan airport in secret. Kamel said Dahlan had already caused a problem for the Egyptian authorities because he travels “upon orders from the UAE, which monitors all of his movements”.

Since the failure of the coup, the Emiratis have tried to mend fences with Ankara. They detained two Turkish generals at Dubai international airport on suspicion of having links to the coup .

Mehmet Cahit Bakir, a major general in command of the Afghanistan Turkish Task Force, and Sener Topuc, a brigadier general in command of the Train, Advise and Assist Command in Kabul, were deported back to Ankara.

The UAE are even more fearful of a backlash that may come after the purge of the Turkish army that Erdogan is conducting.

An informed source told MEE: “They now feel that Erdogan is in full power. They do not like him personally and think of him as a man who will seek to take revenge. Once Erdogan has cleaned out the stables, they think he will then turn on those outside the country who supported the coup.”

A total of 126 army generals have been arrested in connection with the attempted coup. This represents about one-third of all the generals in the Turkish armed forces.

Revelations about Dahlan’s conversations with the Palestinian businessman in the US before the coup could also increase pressure on Washington to consider Turkey’s request for Gulen to be extradited.

Turkey’s foreign and justice ministers are set to travel in person to the US to demand the extradition of Gulen, but for that to succeed they must present a US judge with prima facieevidence to back the list of criminal charges, and proof that similar charges exist under US law.

If the charges clear that hurdle, Gulen would still be open to the defence that the charges are political in nature and that he could not be guaranteed of a fair trial in Turkey. About 2,700 judges were removed from their posts after the coup.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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