Turkey is purging its elite, best trained and most experienced NATO military staff in Europe and the United States.
In a classified military dispatch seen by Reuters, it was revealed that 149 Turkish NATO envoys in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K were ordered to return home on September 27.
Of the 50 Turkish military staff stationed at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, only nine remain. Turkey’s Ambassador to NATO has of yet made no statement on the issue.
Turkey has dismissed approximately 400 NATO military envoys since July, but the pace continues.
They are recalled, arrive to Turkey, and are dismissed, arrested, and imprisoned. The purge focuses especially on air force commanders.
Not everyone submits to this fate.
In August, a Turkish Rear Admiral posted in a NATO base in Norfolk, Virginia, requested asylum to the United States. Mustafa Zeki Ugurlu was in NATO’s Allied Command Transformation headquarters in the US on July 15, during the failed coup; 26 Turkish officers were in Virginia at the time.
Ugurlu was appointed as an Assistant Chief of Staff for Command and Control, Deployability, and Sustainability in Warsaw’s NATO Summit.
Ugurlu disappeared on July 22nd when a detention order was issued for his arrest. He resurged later on requesting asylum. He had left his ID at the base. An Izmir prosecutor accused Ugurlu of military espionage.
NATO officials have said they remain confident in “rule of law” when bringing suspects to justice.
Going after families
Others too have failed to return when recalled. Turkey has made clear it expects NATO allies to extradite Turkish officers that request asylum. Meanwhile, the Turkish government forbids spouses and relatives from leaving the country. Some relatives are imprisoned, according to Reuters.
These officers maintain that there is a witch hunt against all officers with a Western outlook.