A retired colonel and writer for the Association of Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center (ASSAM), an organization affiliated with private military contractor SADAT, has claimed that the world is ruled by the Jews and that “there will surely come a day in the future when trees and stones will speak and say, “O Muslim! Come and kill the Jew hiding behind me,” an apocalyptic prediction often voiced by radicals.
Accusing Jews of being a tribe that has caused strife throughout history, retired colonel Nejat Özden wrote, “The world is a Jewish prison that has come under the dominance of Jewish Nazism-Political Zionism, whether openly or secretly,” in an article full of anti-Semitic arguments that was published on ASSAM’s website on July 16, 2021.
Özden also claimed that Jews conceal their identities and influence the policies of the countries they reside in for the purpose of Jewish domination of the world. Özden, who also insulted US President Joe Biden, wrote that Biden, whom he described as a bucket head, bowed down before Zionism.
Özden wrote that an abortive coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016 was orchestrated by operatives backed by Jews to put Turkey under Israeli sovereignty. However, an analogy pushed by Özden unwittingly confirms an allegation regarding the coup attempt to be true. Inspired by a verse from the Qur’an, Özden defiantly claims that a few believers defeated a large group on that night. Nevzat Tarhan, a retired officer and prominent figure in SADAT circles, had repeatedly said in live broadcasts after the coup attempt that a group of retired soldiers affiliated with them were on the streets and fought against the putschists.
According to Özden, the ultimate goal for the Jews is to create a “Greater Israel.” “To achieve that purpose, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan must be removed and Turkey must be destroyed by the Jews.
In fact, what Özden writes is no different from any other radical claim. It is a simple reflection of what radical Islamists all around the world have been claiming about Israel and the Jews for years. However, the fact that ASSAM is an organization whose events are financed by Erdoğan’s ruling party municipalities and state-run companies like Turkish Airlines reveals that Turkey is being increasingly radicalized by the government.
SADAT is a paramilitary organization led by Adnan Tanrıverdi, a retired officer and former chief military advisor to President Erdoğan. He had to leave his position following a Nordic Monitor report that he had been working to pave the way for the long-awaited Mahdi (prophesied redeemer of Islam), for whom the entire Muslim world was waiting. Tanrıverdi said he was stepping down to avoid putting the president in an awkward position after his remarks about the Mahdi sparked a huge reaction in Turkey. However, it is no secret that Tanrıverdi still wields significant influence in the Erdoğan government and helps shape policies on military and security matters.
Tanrıveri’s son and the CEO of SADAT Melih Tanrıverdi recently admitted that SADAT works with Turkish intelligence agency MİT and coordinates actions with Turkish diplomats and defense officials, in a radio interview in March 2021.
ASSAM organizes the Islamic Union Congress, a series of gatherings that started in 2017 and will continue until 2023. The fifth congress will be held in Istanbul in December 2021 and will focus on the “Principles and Procedures of Joint Foreign Policy for the Islamic Union (2021). The congress previously discussed several issues such as establishing a confederation of Islamic countries as well as a joint army and a constitution. According to the proposed constitution, the main goal of the confederation, which comprises 61 countries, is “ensuring that the Islamic world again be seen in history as a supreme power with Istanbul as its capital.”
Özden was a first lieutenant who was dismissed from the army during the anti-democratic period known as “February 28” in which Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan had to resign in 1996 following pressure from powerful generals at the time. Özden was allowed to rejoin the army by the Erdoğan government and retired as a colonel. He previously admitted that he was one of the retired officers who profiled critics in the army on behalf of the government. He currently runs the management of a public housing complex owned by wealthy Erdoğan supporters, writes columns in the government-funded Milat newspaper and comments on pro-government television. He frequently lectures at seminars and conferences on behalf of ASSAM.