"It's a fantastical tale from the slight, bespectacled man, a former Muslim who now wears the garb of an Orthodox Jew.
But Guney is not taken lightly in his home country. He is the lynchpin in a sprawling trial accusing dozens of prominent Turks of plotting to overthrow their government. Many in Turkey see the trial as the result of a power struggle between the secular military and the pro-Islamist government of the ruling AK Party.
According to Turkish prosecutors, the labyrinthine ultranationalist cabal, code-named 'Ergenekon', backed political assassinations and deadly terrorist attacks.
All the threads lead back to information provided eight years ago by Guney."
and (nine days of interrogation for a petty crime?):
"His standing among fellow expatriates is less lofty.
'Speaking as a member of the community, we are embarrassed that he lives in Canada among us,' said Lale Eskicioglu, executive director of the Ottawa-based Council of Turkish Canadians. 'Because of him, many innocent people have been interrogated. He has caused a lot of hell in Turkey.'
Guney's rise from obscure journalist to renowned whistleblower began in 2001. That year, he was arrested for attempting to sell a stolen car. Over nine days of interrogation, Guney told police he had uncovered a wide-ranging plot to unbalance the Turkish state."
"Police searched Guney's apartment, uncovering six batches of documents, some marked `Top Secret'. The papers laid out a portion of the conspiracy, naming as members some of Turkey's most prominent citizens.
'He got so much information that he cannot have gotten it by himself,' said Ergun Babahan, a former editor of the Turkish newspaper, Sabah. 'Someone gave it to him.'
Despite a travel ban, Guney was mysteriously able to flee Turkey for the United States. 'He went from Turkey to New York and then Toronto. That is not so easy to do,' said Babahan. 'I believe he has some sort of protection.'
Different factions in Turkey have variously accused Guney of working for American and Iranian intelligence; Islamist interests and Ergenekon-linked secret police units. He denies all of it. He took off his black, broad-brimmed hat and skullcap before being photographed for this article because he feared it would bolster accusations that he works for Israel's Mossad."
Mossad makes sense. But why would the Mossad want to destabilize the Turkish government and embarrass their very good pals in the Turkish military (latest development here)? Is all this part of the bigger deal whereby Turkey continues - through thick and mostly thin - to be an ally of Israel? More intrigue:
"Guney is famous in Turkey for his about-faces and provocative statements. There is also his `conversion' to Judaism since leaving Turkey. Guney claims that his family are Jews by way of Egypt who presented themselves as Muslims in order to survive in Turkey."