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Turks accuse CIA of engineering failed coup

The arrest order Turkish prosecutors issued for Graham Fuller, a former CIA official, appears to be a Russian-Turkish joint production.
Russian Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine Krasnodar sets sail in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea during a hazy morning, in Istanbul, Turkey, August 7, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC1B0857E100
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On Dec. 1, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office issued an arrest warrant for Graham Fuller, who was identified in Turkish media as a “former CIA official,” or, more provocatively, as a “CIA agent.” Fuller was accused of “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey and obstructing the missions of the Republic of Turkey.” He was blamed, in other words, for having a hand in the failed July 2016 coup attempt against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

For anyone who has a sense of the real world these were outlandish claims. Fuller had indeed worked for the CIA in the 1980s, as national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia. But he retired from the CIA in 1988, and joined the RAND Corporation, a think tank, as an analyst. In 2006, he retired from that job and moved to Vancouver, Canada, to join Simon Fraser University as an adjunct professor of history. Now 80 years old, he has lately devoted himself to writing books and novels, along with a political commentary blog. He has voiced strong criticisms against Islamophobia in the United States, argued that countries such as Turkey are entitled to a foreign policy independent of Washington, and in fact supported the successive Erdogan governments for a long time until he became disappointed — just like all other Western observers who had better hopes for Turkey. It is true that Fuller has expressed sympathy for the Gulenists, even after the coup for which they are widely blamed, but that seemed more as a result of successful public relations work by the movement.

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