Counter-guerrilla chief appointed principal consultant to Erdoğan

Turkish president Erdoğan appointed retired soldier Brigadier General Adnan Tanrıverdi who owns SADAT, the company that provides counter-guerrilla training, as a principal consultant to the Palace.

In the process of AKP restructuring the state following the July 15 coup attempt, counter-guerilla chief retired soldier Brigadier General Adnan Tanrıverdi was appointed Erdoğan’s primary consultant.

SADAT is not subject to inspections and announces they give counter-guerrilla training on their website. Their name had come to public attention in an attempted massacre where they tried to burn villagers in Lice. DBP Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel had announced the group calling themselves “SADAT” had tried to burn 34 villagers in Lice.

Tuncel had made the following statement on July 9: “They bombed Lice. They burned forests. They damaged living spaces of people. 34 villagers were detained. Soldiers detained 34 villagers. A unit came, with beards and Arabic inscriptions on their arms, brought gasoline and tried to burn the villagers. They say they will burn them. If the military official there allowed it, they would have burned the villagers. The officer refused, he said he had let the regiment know that he had detained those villagers, and so they couldn’t do anything to them. Whoever that unit was, wherever they report to, they threatened the villagers and said ‘These are all terrorists, we will burn them all, we don’t have to answer to anybody.’ If that officer hadn’t intervened, those 34 people would have been burned to death. They are talking about an organisation named Sadat. There is talk that Tayyip Erdoğan has formed a unit directly under him, but we don’t know if this is that unit. We don’t know if these people are under Efkan Ala. They need to come out and make a statement.”

Gündem newspaper had announced the counter-guerrilla organisation with the headline “Is SADAT the army of Reis?” and Cumhuriyet newspaper had used the headline “An uninspected company of war: SADAT”.

Back in 2012, Adnan Tanrıverdi had described the goals of the company as: “Relaying Turkey’s deep rooted military tradition and experience to countries in need. Fulfilling the training, strategy and other such needs of military forces in countries without their own experience. There are many examples around the world, but it will be a first for Turkey.”

CHP MPs had claimed SADAT was training gang organisations in Syria. CHP MPs Ali İhsan Köktürk, Ali Rıza Öztürk, Osman Korutürk and Refik Eryılmaz had asked the Minister of National Defense “Whether SADAT trained FSA militants on urban warfare, whether they received grants/credit from the state, whether foreign states aided them, whether they had any permits from any official state institution on military training and consultancy”, but these questions were left unanswered.

The timing of counter-guerrilla chief Tanrıverdi’s appointment as a principal consultant to the Palace is significant. The appointment was announced to the press simultaneously with the closing of Gündem newspaper and the raid on the paper’s building, following Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s statement “There is no Kurdish issue” in his party’s group meeting.