Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeGeopolitical CompassWest & Centeral AsiaDark-Money Group Linked to Anti-Iran, Pro-Israel Network Targets Turkey but has no...

Dark-Money Group Linked to Anti-Iran, Pro-Israel Network Targets Turkey but has no Turks

Authors: Eli CliftonMurtaza Hussain

Affiliation: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, The Intercept

Organization/Publisher: The Intercept

Date/Place: November 26, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 3693


Keywords: Alert Turkey, Turkish Democracy Project, United Against Nuclear Iran.


This exposé article identifies a political advocacy group that claims it was created to promote democracy in Turkey, but it lacks any Turkish members and also includes individuals who advocate and support anti-democratic dictators. Former Turkish politician Aykan Erdemir and professor Suleyman Ozeren were removed from the initiative’s advisory board shortly after its launch. The Turkish Democracy Project’s roster includes hawkish former US public officials and diplomats with close ties to Israel and the Gulf Arab states, including former Bush administration counterterrorism official Frances Townsend, former US Sen. Joseph Lieberman, and former Trump national security adviser John Bolton. “Alert Turkey,” Bolton tweeted immediately after the Turkey Democracy Project began. The “advocacy” group claims that the AK Party’s leadership has harmed Turkey’s democracy, but the Turkish Democracy Project’s answer is unclear. What is clear is that the group is tied to a network of well-funded dark-money charities promoting Saudi, Emirati, and Israeli security interests in the Middle East. Former Bush administration UN ambassador Mark Wallace is at the center of it all. Wallace presently heads the Turkish Democracy Project, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), Counter Extremism Project (CEP), and PaykanArtCar, an arts-based human rights programme. The Turkish Democracy Project is led by UANI, CEP, or both. It’s unclear whether foreign governments or politicians are sponsoring UANI or CEP’s aims and money, and the Turkish Democracy Project does not respond to questions about funding. As reported by Intelligence Online in July 2021, Wallace has tight ties to billionaire investor Thomas Kaplan, a vocal supporter of Wallace’s Iran-related lobbying groups. Investigative journalists in Turkey have identified the Turkish Democracy Project’s launch last summer as part of an anti-government plot to destabilize the nation. The group is friendly towards the Gülen movement that planned the 2016 coup attempt, and is part of a growing network of well-funded NGOs whose foreign policy goals fit with Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv’s “security” concerns. Despite its lofty goals, observers argue that the Turkish Democracy Project seems to serve regional rivals’ interests rather than safeguarding liberal democracy. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) was created after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and according to its executive director Sarah Leah Whitson, the “advocacy” group’s strategy is value-based rather than political, placing it in the category of propagandists.


By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular