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[alpha] INSIGHT - TURKEY/SYRIA/AZ/US/VZ/RUSSIA/TAIWAN - Erdogan's cancer, Turkish plan for Syria and more - TR325
Date 2011-12-10 20:04:53
SOURCE: TR325 and his business partner
ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Former NSC official in Turkey, adviser to Erdogan,
energy expert negotiator
SOURCE RELIABILITY: B
ITEM CREDIBILITY: B
SPECIAL HANDLING: Alpha
SOURCE HANDLER: Reva
TR325's business partner has an old classmate friend who was the lead
surgeon on Erdogan's most recent operation. He said that Erdogan has colon
cancer, but they haven't seen the second biopsy results yet to see if it's
metastasized. In the last operation, they cut out 20 cm of Erdogan's colon
(I just looked up that the average colon is about 1.5m long.) That's a
really significant operation. Erdogan is not going to be able to travel
for a while, and he's going to have to carry around with him a colonoscopy
bag for at least 2-3 months. The prognosis is not looking good, though.
The surgeon said they were estimating 2 years for him.
This is very likely going to cause major splits within the AKP. Gul
doesn't have much support. Davutoglu is paranoid that everyone else is
trying to undermine him (there's a definite competition between him and
TR325.) When I asked who Erdgogan trusts, two names were mentioned - Ali
Babacan (Deputy PM) and Taner Yildiz (energy minister.) Both sources were
asking how the US is likely to react to this situation. Would they try to
back the military like the old days? CHP is still very much divided. Both
seemed to think the military won't be able to take advantage of the
On Syria - the conversation centered on how far Turkey is actually going
to go. TR325 explained that the Turkish plan is centered on civil war in
Syria. Officially, it's Turkey providing the main training,a rms and
support to FSA. Unofficially, US and TUrkey are doing this together in
deploying SOF for this mission. Notice all the talk in the press now
about civil war breaking out in Syria. This is the narrative Turkey and US
want to build. I pointed out that creating the conditions for civil war -
actual neighborhood to neighborhood fighting - is still pretty difficult
considering that the Alawite forces are still holding together, but he
seemed to think that this can escalate within 2 months time. He also said
without saying that they're working on making that happen. He acknowledges
it'll be messy and it will take a lot of blood and time for a Sunni power
to emerge in syria, but that this is the Turkish obligation.
The Turkish plan to preempt the instability that would result from civil
war conditions is to implement the buffer zone 5-40km into Syrian
territory and set up refugee camps. I asked what levers Iran and Syria
have to get Turkey to back off in relation to PKK. He said
(half-jokingly) that Karilan is Turkey's man (ie. turkey can actually
negotiate with him.) But he said PKK third-in-command (still need to get
this guy's name) answers to Syria and Iran. Turkey knows this very well
and he says Syria and Iran are already making moves to threaten attacks
via this faction.
I'm left with a lot of questions --
Given the instability that is likely to result within AKP over Erdogan's
health, would Turkey really be making bold foreign policy moves, such as
helping to create a civil war in Syria?
Turkey appears very confident that Syria/Iran have the means to play the
PKK card. Why risk that?
Turkey knows they'll be dealing with a massive refugee crisis in Syria -
why propel that situation?
Some other points -
TR325 believes AZ wiill be able to export 5-7bcm via ITGI for SDII.
Russia has its stake in Edison to keep a foothold in that route. The rest
he agrees is likely going to have to be shipped to Russia eventually since
the Europeans aren't financing anything right now. He did say that SOCAR
is flush with money right now and could actually put money down on these
projects if they have the market demand and client base to do it.
They were both asking me what is happening with Trinidad and Tobago. I
told them I have no idea. They were asking because they are involved in a
business deal to sell conventional subs to Trinidad and Tobago. They're
assuming the US is preparing something for VZ. They are also involved in
similar submarine sales to Taiwan and Japan