We conducted entrance interviews for military schools: Founder of Erdoğan's 'parallel army'

One of the founders of Erdoğan's "parallel army," Gürcan Onat, has said that the shady group conducted entrance interviews for military schools for three years after the 2016 failed coup attempt.

Duvar English

Gürcan Onat, one of the founders of the shady paramilitary group SADAT, has said that the organization conducted entrance interviews for military schools for three years following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. 

Another founder and leader, Adnan Tanrıverdi, refrained from confirming SADAT's involvement in the interview process, but said that his group, which is often dubbed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's "parallel army," acts within the knowledge of the National Defense Ministry. 

SADAT, officially the SADAT International Defense Consultancy, describes itself on its website as "the first and the only company in Turkey that internationally provides consultancy and military training services at the international defense and interior security sector."

It was founded by Tanrıverdi and has been a shady organization due to numerous reports on it training jihadists in Syria and Libya.

The group was also allegedly active in the thwarting of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt by taking up arms and fighting with putschists on the streets. Tanrıverdi was appointed as Erdoğan's advisor shortly after, but was forced to resign last year after saying that the Mahdi - a "redeemer" in Islam who is to descend on earth and rule on judgement day - will return.

According to the Oda TV news portal, SADAT is no longer included in the interview process. 

Good (İYİ) Party deputy Aytun Çıray took the issue to parliament's agenda, asking Defense Minister Hulusi Akar whether the claims on SADAT's involvement are true. 

"If true, isn't this betraying the Turkish Armed Forces?" Çıray asked in his parliamentary question.