Turkey Arrests Two Generals Based in Kabul in Growing Purge

Top Turkish Generals in Afghanistan Accused of Involvement in Failed Coup

As Turkey moves into the second week of its post-coup purge, efforts to detain potentially disloyal members of the military have expanded broad, with the top generals serving in Turkey’s force in Afghanistan arrested today at the Dubai Airport, with officials claiming they are suspected of “links to the attempt to overthrow Erdogan.”

The two, including Maj. Gen. Mehmet Bakir, who was the commander of the Afghan force, were arrested with the cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, and are being sent to Turkey to face the allegations. A NATO spokesman, however, assured that the Turkish involvement in Afghanistan would be unaffected by the arrests.

Details are still scant on exactly what Maj. Gen. Bakir and Brig. Gen. Sener Topuc are supposed to have done, and it’s unclear how they could’ve played a serious role in the coup whilst in Afghanistan. They are among 143 generals who have been arrested over the failed coup.

Adding to intrigue surrounding the Afghanistan connection, pro-Erdogan newspaper Yeni Safak claimed that the coup was masterminded by US Gen. John Campbell, who was in charge of NATO’s Afghan occupation until March. Campbell says he was baffled by the charges, and Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera says Campbell couldn’t have masterminded the coup because they were having a beer together at the time.

The Yeni Safak paper has been publishing a growing number of articles in recent days claiming US involvement in the coup, though so far Erdogan hasn’t publicly echoed those allegations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.