Turkish private security firm SADAT is coming under growing scrutiny for its role in securing Turkey’s international interests, AFP reported on Friday.
Founded by a former Turkish brigadier general Adnan Tanrıverdi, who was expelled from the military in 1996 as part of an anti-Islamist purge, SADAT is rumoured to have been part of Turkey’s recent proposal to assume security at Kabul international airport following the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces from Afghanistan in August.
The firm has also been linked to the deployment of Syrian mercenaries in conflicts including Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, where Turkey backed Azerbaijan in last year’s clashes with Armenia over the disputed territory.
SADAT operates as a “facilitator between Ankara and Syrian proxy fighters”, AFP cited senior U.S. military officer Matt Powers as saying in a recent report.
This role has drawn comparison with Russian defence company Wagner, which has been accused of operating in close coordination with Moscow, often in politically sensitive areas.
However, American University and Orion Policy Institute terrorism expert Suat Cubukcu told AFP that “SADAT has ideology-oriented and much more intertwined relations with its home government”.
Tanrıverdi served as an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before being forced to resign in January last year after telling a religious conference that SADAT was paving the way for the coming of the Mahdi, a messianic figure some Muslims believe will redeem mankind before the world ends.
In a written interview with AFP, Tanrıverdi’s son said claims that SASDAT is a mercenary organisation were “disinformation”.
“Countries that come from thousands of kilometres away… spread fake news to accuse our president and his former chief adviser, Adnan Tanriverdi,” he added.