FLYNN FACTS: Who the heck is Ekim Alptekin?


Part 2—At times like these, nobody cares:
For the record, Michael Flynn strikes us as a bit of a nut.

Last summer, he stood on stage at the Republican Convention, leading chants of "Lock her up." He retweeted a claim about the way Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of the basement of a D.C. pizza joint.

At the business he founded, he chose his even-crazier son to be his chief of staff.

That said, Flynn had a distinguished military career—and he has geopolitical views. If we're willing to be honest just this once, most of us liberals aren't sufficiently knowledgeable to say, with any real authority, that his views are "wrong."

Along the way, Flynn's craziness and his geopolitical views made him the apple of Donald J. Trump's eye. These are the wages a society pays when its "elites" mug and clown their way through thirty years of gonzo pseudo-political history, as our "elites" have done.

Now we're engaged in a great newspaper war, with the ludicrous Flynn providing much of the excitement. This leads us to our question for the day:

Who is Ekim Alptekin?

Who the heck is Ekim Alptekin? For now, let's let the New York Times tell us!

Alptekin has been all over the news in the past six months. He's routinely featured in news reports which deal with Michael Flynn's international adventures.

Despite his ubiquity, Alptekin remains a bit of an international man of mystery. Let's let the Times clear things up:
ROSENBERG AND MAZZETTI (5/18/17): The subpoena also asks for similar records about Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman who is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and is chairman of the Turkish-American Business Council. There is no indication that Mr. Alptekin is under investigation.

ROSENBERG (4/2/17): The payments for lobbying work that Mr. Flynn did for the Turkish government—and did not disclose until March—were handled through the Flynn Intel Group, and are not listed separately on the disclosure forms. Mr. Flynn did not work directly for the Turkish government; the firm that hired him, Inovo, is owned by a Turkish-American businessman with links to leaders in Ankara and [sic] asked him to work on an issue important to the government.

BAKER AND ROSENBERG (3/11/17): Mr. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, registered as a lobbyist last year but did not file papers with the Justice Department registering as a foreign agent, providing a fuller understanding of his role, until Tuesday. While he did not work directly for the Turkish government, the firm that hired him, Inovo, is owned by a Turkish-American businessman with links to leaders in Ankara and [sic] asked him to work on an issue important to the government.

NORDLAND (11/19/17): General Flynn's article, as Politico reported, did not disclose that he was a paid lobbyist for a consultancy founded by a Turkish businessman, Ekim Alptekin, who is also the head of the Turkish-American Business Council.
You just can't beat the New York Times for cool clear consistent reporting! According to our smartest newspaper, Alptekin is either a Turkish businessman, a Turkish-American businessman, or a Turkish businessman who is the head of the Turkish-American Business Council.

In two recent attempt to identify Alptekin, Rosenberg and Mazzetti seemed to say that he's an American citizen. As far as we know, that's false. But even that elementary fact remains unresolved within our floundering "elite" press corps, which is currently on a chase.

(As we noted yesterday, the Washington Post keeps jumping around about Alptekin's citizenship too!)

Good God! Alptekin's employment of Flynn became a major topic last November. Even now, our big newspapers haven't managed to get clear about his citizenship, which would seem to be relevant to the matters at hand.

In fairness, everything else is murky too! Even after some recent searches, we don't think we've ever seen a statement about Alptekin's age, or about his place of residence.

How old is Alptekin? Where was he born, and where does he live? What is his citizenship? Because the corps is on a chase, details like these no longer matter. We're being sold an exciting tale, in which the most elementary facts seem to have no place.

Who the heck is Ekim Alptekin? We have no real idea—but over the weekend, as part of a search, we finally came upon a biographical profile from a non-journalistic source.

Because it comes from some sort of interest group, we can't swear for its perfect accuracy. But what the heck! Here it is:
RESEARCH TURKEY: Ekim Alptekin is a successful young businessman, specialised on transatlantic trade and the development and maintenance of commercial and political cooperation between Turkey and the US. He was born in Ankara in 1977. He completed his studies in law and economics in Utrecht University in 2001. He speaks Turkish, English, French, German, and Dutch. After completing his studies he moved to the USA and worked in the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) as well as other international organisations. Alptekin also carries important diplomatic missions. He is honorary consul of Turkey to Albania and member of the board of the USA Newroz Commission. In addition, he is member of European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD).

Ekim Alptekin also carries out important activities in trading sector. He is the founder and a principal partner of Eclipse Aerospace Inc., a New Mexico-based company manufacturing aircrafts. He founded EA Aerospace in Turkey to buy American Eclipse Aerospace, which was re-founded in 2008. EA Aerospace is significant as it is the very first Turkish company that made aircraft industry investment in the USA. In addition to EA Aerospace, Ekim Alptekin owns EA Construction, ATH Defence and One Colony companies active in real estate, construction, defence, security, entertainment, and tourism industries. Alptekin agglomerated his companies under the name of AE Group, where he acts as the Chair of the Executive Board. He also worked as the President of the Turkish-American Business Association (TABA/AmCham) between 2012 and 2014, and he was elected as the Young Leader by the American-Turkish Society in 2012. He won the Commercial Leadership Award of American-Turkish Council thanks to the Eclipse Aerospace initiative in 2011. Alptekin’s EA Construction has been active in Istanbul’s construction sector through Beykonak Houses and Kartal Kule projects and his "Kartal Kule" project was awarded the "Best Architecture Single Office Europe by International Property Awards.

Since October 2015, Ekim Alptekin is acting as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Turkish-American Business Council (TAİK), an organisation under the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK).
According to that account, Michael Flynn's recent employer is 39 or 40 years old. Especially considering his age, he seems to be a go-getter.

It sounds like he's Turkish, not Turkish-American. That said, he seems to have gone to college in the Netherlands. Could he maybe be Turkish-Dutch—a Dutch citizen of Turkish extraction?

Did Alptekin move to the USA after college, as that profile declares? Does he maybe possibly live on Imus' ranch in New Mexico, where he founded Eclipse Aerospace Inc.?

Rather plainly, no one knows or cares!

Who the freak is this guy? Incredibly, the New York Times and the Washington Post still haven't bothered nailing down the basic facts about his citizenship. But this is the way our "press corps" behaves when they engage in a chase.

A few key facts do seem to be known about Alptekin. At some point, he founded Inovo BV, the Dutch-based firm which hired Flynn on a short-term contract last year.

Having said that, let us also say this: "a Dutch-based firm" is not the same thing as "the Turkish government." For whom was Michael Flynn working last year? Let's review the masterful way Rosenberg dealt with this basic question:
ROSENBERG (4/2/17): The payments for lobbying work that Mr. Flynn did for the Turkish government—and did not disclose until March—were handled through the Flynn Intel Group, and are not listed separately on the disclosure forms. Mr. Flynn did not work directly for the Turkish government; the firm that hired him, Inovo, is owned by a Turkish-American businessman with links to leaders in Ankara and [sic] asked him to work on an issue important to the government.
According to that paragraph, Flynn "did lobbying work for the Turkish government" without "working directly for the Turkish government."

It's possible this could be explained, though no one has really bothered.

(Through early March, Our Own Rhodes Scholar kept exciting and delighting us liberals by telling us that Flynn had been "on the Turkish government payroll." On its face, this exciting claim always seemed to be false.

(Our Own Rhodes Scholar no longer makes this claim, though she still sometimes implies it. On alternate weeks, she tells us that the money for Flynn's work came from Putin-connected Russian oligarchs, without seeming to notice that this second exciting story doesn't directly jibe with her first.

(Even as she dropped her thrilling earlier account, Our Own Rhodes Scholar never fired up her gong-show based DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS to explain the change in her story. She was assuming, quite correctly, that we liberals are too dumb to notice the change in her account, and/or too addicted to narrative to care.)

Did Michael Flynn do something wrong when he worked for Alptekin and Inovo BV, which is either 1) the Turkish government or 2) an arm of Putin's oligarchs? We can't answer that question.

We can tell you this:

A chase is on in the mainstream press. At such times, elementary facts and logic tend to disappear.

What matters is preferred talking points, which get repeated again and again. In the current instance, the greatest such point is this:

Michael Flynn registered as a "foreign agent!" That is a very exciting point. But does anyone know what it means?

Michael Flynn worked as a foreign agent! It sounds wonderfully vile. But what the heck does that term really mean? And to what has Michael Flynn copped?

Tomorrow, we'll start to sift those questions. In the meantime, Ekim Alptekin, Flynn's fresh-faced employer, is either Turkish or American or possibly Dutch. Flynn was on the Turkish government payroll. Or he worked for Putin's oligarchs!

As with New England weather, so too with elementary facts when a chase is on. If you don't like the most recent account, you can just wait a while!

Michael Flynn strikes us as a bit of a nut, but so do large swaths of the elite press. Thirty years of their low-IQ clowning got us all into this mess.

Tomorrow: What is a foreign agent?


  1. I don't know if sadness hurts or helps, but it is certainly the order of the day here, and, with more skin ointment than applesauce, it is impossible to escape the fact Bob Somerby is a Capricorn.

    1. I have been warned by fake Greg not to post, still, he is a douche bag, so I will persist.

    2. "I" "I" "I" "I" look at meeeeeeeee!!!

  2. If it is unclear where Flynn's pay came from and who Alptekin is, that is not because a chase is on. It is because no one wants this information to be clear and available.

    Notice that Alptekin was involved in an aerospace company founded in Turkey for the purpose of buying an American company, which went bankrupt and was re-founded as a Turkish-owned enterprise. Is the company perhaps Dutch? On what basis would you think that -- just because Alptekin spoke Dutch or went to a Dutch university? Somerby works overtime to create more confusion than exists. Lots of students attend European and American universities who are not born where they study -- we call them international students.

    Flynn has copped to nothing. Alptekin is used to functioning as a cutout, an intermediary for other interests, someone who puts together deals and organizes international efforts. It would be foolish to believe that Alptekin is giving Flynn money on his own and not on someone else's behalf. Whose? Not the Dutch.

    Somerby says: "That said, Flynn had a distinguished military career—and he has geopolitical views. If we're willing to be honest just this once, most of us liberals aren't sufficiently knowledgeable to say, with any real authority, that his views are "wrong.""

    I don't have to have "real authority" to have views of my own. I can say that Flynn's views are wrong with respect to Hillary Clinton's pizza pedophilia ring because of Clinton's long history of public service, the extreme unlikelihood of such an accusation being anything but nonsense. I can say the same about Flynn's other weird and extreme views about geopolitical politics. I don't have to visit the pizza parlor and I don't have to be a general myself to know that he is wrong about many things.

    Somerby takes these odd positions, asserting that we must lean over backwards to give Flynn some benefit of doubt when there is no basis for doing so. It doesn't matter where Alptekin was born to know that Flynn lied about foreign involvement and is now trying to save his skin.

    This isn't about any chase. It is about Trump's strong support for someone who lies on his security clearance forms and has ties to Turkey and most likely Russia too, and who was clearly unfit to serve but was hired anyway. Flynn is evidence of Trump's incompetence. This too is obvious and important, but Somerby is worrying about why Alptekin speaks Dutch. Talk about low-IQ clowning!

    1. Excellent reply. It is still worth coming here.

      And to what has Michael Flynn copped?

      Answer: Mr. "Lock Her UP" has copped the 5th. Something Secretary Clinton never had to do.

  3. Flynn's craziness and his geopolitical views made him the apple of Donald J. Trump's eye.

    This is the kind of unsourced insult that Bob criticizes in others. Bob has no basis for claiming that Trump found Flynn's craziness appealing.

    1. Trump seeks others who will validate his own craziness, make his weird views seem normal or reasonable. Flynn is a general who thinks like Trump. That is his main value to Trump. You can source this to any personality psychology textbook. It is obvious.

    2. "unsourced insult"

      Comrade DinC, the insult is clearly sourced. Mr. Somberby made it. And it was well earned. pussygrabber pervert con man fraud traitor rTump was warned by very experienced, serious and respected advisors to stay clear of Flynn and ignored all warnings. In fact he fired Yates for her troubles. Just get the fuck out of here. Your judgment is impaired. You chose a monstrosity over a hardworking competent and experience and highly intelligent and knowledgeable opponent. You forfeit any further claim or right to be taken seriously. go the fuck away. move to Alabama or Kansas. start work on your wall. see how many minority persons you can deprive of their constitutional right to vote. go work on how many poor people to deprive of Medicaid and food stamps to pay for billionaires tax cuts. or maybe join in your local Nazi group and see what you can to do undermine the EPA or public schooling. just get the fuck off this blog.

    3. Booman talks about this today.

    4. David, take Greg with you when you go.

    5. How dare a mere liberal have views to counter a Military Man's geopolitical views, even when he is demonstrably bonkers? Bob, grow the fuck up.

    6. The generalized separation of Bob and myself has spelled the end of any comprehensive view of liberal hegemony, as well as the end of direct personal communication between producers. As the accumulation of alienated posts proceeds, and as the blogging process gets more concentrated, consistency and communication become the exclusive assets of Kanye West and Hasil Atkins. The triumph of an informational system founded on separation leads to the proletarianization of the world with sadness and or rancor depending.

    7. Corby recommends consulting "personality psychology textbooks." This is your brain on Obama.

    8. Conservatives reject science on other issues, so why not behavior?

    9. Corby, there are various phrase used to justify an assertion that one cannot actually prove, such as: "It is obvious that...", "everyone knows that...", "only a fool could doubt that..."

    10. Hey Comrade DinC, can you please go back and clean up the dump you took in another thread yesterday? It's not polite to come to someone else's place, take a dump on their carpet and then leave and return the next day like nothing happened. Like we're not supposed to remember the dump you took on our carpet the day before. You're not welcome in polite civilized society anymore. Get the hint?

    11. DinC @2:10

      Oddly, the phrase "It is obvious that..." occurs in mathematical proofs where the author often says: "From this it is obvious that..." So the phrase isn't always used to justify assertions. It seems mostly to refer back to previously stated evidence.

      I never said "everyone knows that" or "only a fool could doubt that...".

      It doesn't seem fair to put words into other people's mouths like this.

    12. David doesn't like the phrases "everyone knows that" and "only a fool could doubt that" and "It is obvious that" because these all refer to shared knowledge. The conservatives (and especially their trolls) are busy trying to convince everyone that things that are well-established facts are false (e.g., fake news). They reject consensus reality. Of course they don't agree that everyone knows what we all know. They are trying to teach us to doubt what we know to be true.

      This is what evil looks like.

    13. Accept news sources because, if enough of them agree with each other, it represents "consensus reality"? There's no such thing. Is this what they teach at our universities these days? These lefties are the dumbest and most gullible True Believers we've seen in some time.

    14. Better to accept Infowars and Limbaugh? Those multiple news sources are much more likely to be true.

    15. Corby -- one way to check whether Flynn's nuttiness made him attractive to Trump is to look at common characteristics of Trump appointees. I don't see a lot of nuttiness. What I do see is a people who have a history of success.

    16. You probably think Trump has a history of success too. Something majorly wrong with your idea of success.

    17. "What I do see is a [sic] people who have a history of success."

      Not anymore. Here's Larry Summers:

      "Details of President Trump’s first budget have now been released. Much can and will be said about the dire social consequences about what is in it and the ludicrously optimistic economic assumptions it embodies. My observation is that there appears to be a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course.

      Apparently, the budget forecasts that US growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the Administration’s policies—largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies. Fair enough if you believe in tooth-fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics.

      Then the Administration asserts that it will propose revenue neutral tax cuts with the revenue neutrality coming in part because the tax cuts stimulate growth! This is an elementary double count. You can’t use the growth benefits of tax cuts once to justify an optimistic baseline and then again to claim that the tax cuts do not cost revenue. At least you cannot do so in a world of logic.

      The Trump team prides itself on its business background....This is a mistake no serious business person would make. It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a Presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them.... How could the Secretary of Treasury, Director of OMB and Director of the NEC allow such an elementary error? I hope the press will ferret all this out.

      The President’s personal failings are now not just center stage but whole stage. They should not blind us to the manifest failures of his economic team. Whether it is Secretary Mnuchin’s absurd claims about tax cuts not favoring the rich, Secretary Ross’s claim that the small squib of a deal negotiated last week with China was the greatest trade result with China in history, NEC Director Cohn’s ludicrous estimate of the costs of Dodd Frank, or today’s [5/23/17] budget, the Trump administration has not yet made a significant economic pronouncement that meets a minimal standard of competence and honesty."

    18. Summers fails to mention that 3% growth used to be normal. And, President Obama used much rosier assumptions in his budgets:
      President Obama submitted his proposed budget for FY 2011 in February 2010. Its tone was triumphalist. Obama had the good fortune to take office in the wake of a financial collapse and a recession, and his budget predicted robust economic growth in the years to come. Table S-1 set out, among other things, the administration’s projections of GDP in future years. Here they are, in billions of dollars, along with my calculation of the projected growth rate:

      2012 16,203

      2013 17,182 = 6%

      2014 18,139 = 5.6%

      2015 19,190 = 5.8%

      2016 20,163 = 5%

      The federal fiscal year runs from October to October, so it is not exactly coextensive with the calendar year, but that discrepancy is immaterial for this purpose. As you can see, the Obama administration expected its policies to produce GDP growth of 5% to 6% in 2014, far more than the 2.2% actually experienced, as well as the 3.1% attained in 2013.

      As time went by, Obama’s economists realized that the administration’s policies were not producing the growth they had expected. Thus, in February 2012, when the administration released its proposed budget for FY 2013, its projections were revised as follows:

      FY 2012 15,602

      FY 2013 16,335 = 4.7%

      FY 2014 17,156 = 5%

      FY 2015 18,178 = 6%

      FY 2016 19,261 = 6%

      Note that the projection for FY 2013 was revised downward by $847 billion. Still, prosperity was just around the corner, as the administration still expected growth in 2014 to be 5% to 6%, with robust growth thereafter.

      Two years later, the numbers had changed again. When the president’s FY 2015 budget was released in March 2014, these were the predicted GDP numbers:

      FY 2013 16,619

      FY 2014 17,332 = 4.3%

      FY 2015 18,219 = 5.1%

      FY 2016 19,181 = 5.3%

      FY 2017 20,199 = 5.3%

      But even then, just one year ago, the Obama administration predicted that economic growth in 2014 would be 4.3% or greater–twice the actual number

    19. Quite the shiny, straw-filled squirrel you got there. And from Powerline, too.

      You previously commented on the "success" of a group of people who can't even create an honest budget.

      Why don't you refute Summers' complaints instead of deflecting to the economic performance of an administration cleaning up after W's economic disaster while continually having to deal for 8 years with a Congress having the primary goal of obstructing the administration at every turn?

      By the way, that's a rhetorical question.

    20. DinC Corby -- "one way to check whether Flynn's nuttiness made him attractive to Trump is to look at common characteristics of Trump appointees. I don't see a lot of nuttiness. What I do see is a people who have a history of success."
      Yes, those sociopaths do well in open societies, when their only restraint is their lack of a conscience.

    21. Tom O'Shanter,
      DavidinCal seems like the type who put on a tri-cornered hat, made believe he wasn't a Republican, and insisted he never heard of this George W. Bush person towards the end of the aughts.

  4. The Post and Times peddle the low-IQ material low IQ tribalists tend to eat up uncritically.

  5. Since the man has no Wikipedia entry, the scribes are lost for details of his life.

  6. Finally, let us note that by Bob's standards endorsing the notion that Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a Pizza restaurant makes you, in Bob's view, "a bit of a nut."
    Fake Greg, got anything unfunny to say about that one?

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