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Turkey's Failed Coup Anniversary; Russia Investigation; The Plight of Refugees. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired July 16, 2017 - 03:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A blunt warning to traders. Stern words from Turkey's president as he marks the anniversary of a failed coup against him.

Adding to his legal team, U.S. President Trump brings a new lawyer onboard as the Russia investigation continues to threaten to paralyze his administration.

Rising violence in Germany against refugees and migrants who were welcomed into the country not long ago.

It's all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen and we're live in Atlanta.


ALLEN: Massive crowds turned out across Turkey to mark one year since a failed coup attempt against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan Saturday. He spoke at the parliament, which was attacked during the coup attempt.

In Ankara, Mr. Erdogan also unveiled a monument for people killed in the event. He praised Turks who defied soldiers trying to overthrow the government and condemned those who he says betrayed the country.

CNN's Arwa Damon was in Istanbul Saturday as the city marked the anniversary. She has this report about how people remember the event.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The bulk of the crowd has already made its way towards the Bosphorus Bridge, that has now been renamed the 15th of July Bridge.

And this particular neighborhood, Cengelkoy, this is where in Istanbul the very first bullet was fired. This bakery, for example -- people were saying that coup plotters stormed inside and even held some customers there hostage.

There is a police station that is down the road. You also have one of the Istanbul's main military academies down the road as well. One of the employees at the restaurant across the street, he was

telling us that one of their colleagues was killed that night and that a wounded man on the street corner, whom they were trying to help, they were unable to reach him because he said the coup plotters prevented them from doing that.

Just about everyone we speak to, especially in this neighborhood, has a horror story to tell of that night.

This is Mr. Yahya Ardaman (ph). He was here that night. They were just out enjoying the evening and he was telling us people were coming down --

(Speaking foreign language).

-- these little side streets. And there was one of their friends, who was standing right here, who they shot and killed. And you can see the bullets still in the glass.

And he was saying the owner of this store decided not to repair it so that people don't forget what it is that the country went through.

This is one of the roads that people took the night of the failed coup to get to the bridge, where they actually faced off with tanks.

One of the main reasons why arguably the coup did not succeed is because citizens of this country heeded President Erdogan's call to take to the streets because, no matter how divided this nation may be, how polarized it may be, the population here is by and large united behind one concept and that's the era of military coups is over.

And people will unite behind that notion that they must do all they can to preserve democracy.

The bridge itself is absolutely packed. You can barely move up there. And people keep on arriving. Some of them carrying the photographs of those who died trying to stop the coup from taking place. Around 250 people lost their lives, standing up to the coup slaughterers.

Turkish president's message throughout all of this has been that no one is going to divide this country. He's really been trying to rally the population around him.

But at the same time, this does remain a very polarized nation because there is growing concern about the direction that the country is going and from those who opposed the current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And they are very concerned about the post-coup crackdown where tens of thousands of people were jailed by their -- accused of being directly involved or being members of the Gulenist movement. That is the movement that Turkey believes is behind -- was behind the sordid coup attempt.

Additionally, around 150,000 government employees have lost their jobs. People that worked at ministries within the judiciary, journalists have also been jailed. So, a lot of people, despite the show of force that we're seeing out on the streets on this day, do remain very concerned about what the future of their country is because, at this stage, no one knows exactly what is going to be happening next or what direction Turkey is going to take -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.


ALLEN: Joining us now --


ALLEN: -- to talk more about the anniversary of the coup in Turkey, James Jeffrey. He is the former ambassador to Iraq and Turkey.

Ambassador Jeffrey, thanks for being with us.


ALLEN: One year on, has President Erdogan cemented his power?

He certainly has tightened the grip on the country.

What do you think?

JEFFREY: He has cemented his power. He won narrowly a constitutional referendum that gives him much more power just in May. And he is moving forward on his agenda, which is a somewhat more authoritarian democracy, much more to his liking than the more pluralistic society that we've come to expect from Turkey.

ALLEN: Was that one of the reasons behind the coup, because he had this desire to have so much power and to hold on to power there in Turkey?

JEFFREY: Indirectly, yes; but the coup is really not a coup by the military as an institution but by an Islamic, essentially secret society within the military that it infiltrated it, previously and worked closely with Erdogan that felt threatened by him and decided to essentially upturn the apple cart was something that, had it succeeded, would have turned the country into chaos.

ALLEN: He certainly has tightened his grip on dissenters. He has taken this anniversary to purge more civilians and police officers from government. Let's listen to him as he addressed the country on this one-year anniversary.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): We know who is behind these terrorists. However, there is also the fact that if you do not combat and fight against these pieces, we cannot fight and overcome those who are manipulating them. Therefore, we're going to behead these traitors.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: A stern warning from President Erdogan there.

He has always blamed Fethullah Gulen, who lives in the US, for inciting this coup. Has that been proven?

JEFFREY: It hasn't been proven specifically that Fethullah Gulen gave the order. I and - not all, but many experts from the outside who are talking to independent analysts in Turkey believe that the Gulenist movement was behind it.

Typically, if a movement is behind something, the leader of that movement, particularly in the Middle East, knew all about it.

But again, there is evidence being gathered and there's an extradition request in, but no decision has been taken by the US authorities yet.

ALLEN: We value your time and your input. Former ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, James Jeffrey, thank you again.

JEFFREY: Thank you.

ALLEN: Well, the U.S. president is relaxing this weekend at his resort in New Jersey, where he is taking in the U.S. Women's golf open.

But in Washington, his White House is in full battle mode over the 2016 meeting of the president's eldest son and a Russian lawyer. Veteran attorney Ty Cobb has been brought to help manage the turmoil which is threatening the president's agenda in Congress.

A Senate vote on Republican health care has again been delayed, this time because Senator John McCain is in Arizona, recovering from surgery. Republicans need every vote they can get. So they will wait until McCain returns to Washington.

Bringing in a heavy hitter like Ty Cobb as White House special counsel shows just how high the stakes have become for the Trump administration. We get more from CNN's Boris Sanchez.



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The name of the new attorney added to the White House's legal team is Ty Cobb. He's a powerful Washington, D.C., defense attorney who has handled some pretty high- profile clients in the past, including defending two officials with connections to the Clinton White House.

He's also defended major corporations, an ex-CIA officer. He is someone with a lot of experience defending white-collar crime. He's actually a former federal prosecutor and, up until taking this job at the White House, he was a partner at Hogan Lovells, a powerful D.C. law firm.

He is expected to now oversee the White House response to the Russia investigation, not only legally but also in the press. He is trying to manage the White House response to a story that has created quite a cloud, an impediment almost, to the Trump agenda.

Now friends of Ty Cobb's, including CNN legal analyst, Michael Zeldin, say that he is a shrewd, smart attorney. Listen.

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: One is they're bringing in Ty to try to try to replicate in some sense what Clinton did during his problems, which is to create a legal war room in the White House counsel's office to deal with this on a day-to-day basis.

And you see Abbe Lowell coming in to represent Jared Kushner. She's a well-known criminal lawyer, represented John Edwards recently in his problems. You see the shifting in legal representation.

Jamie stays in as the ethics person. Abbe comes in front and center on the criminal side. So people are becoming more sensitive to the fact that this is a criminal investigation.

It is not a hoax. It is not a witch hunt. It is a serious legal matter and they are beginning to take the first steps, steps they should have taken months ago, probably, to recognize the jeopardy that they're potentially in.


SANCHEZ: In another bit of legal news related to the White House and the Trump family, according to an FEC filing, the Committee to Re- Elect President Trump paid $50,000 to the legal firm that is now representing Donald Trump Jr. about two weeks before "The New York Times" story broke regarding a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower.

CNN has not been able to confirm whether or not that payment was made specifically for legal representation for Donald Trump Jr. In fact, the filing cites that it is for legal consulting. Now CNN has reached out to the Trump family and to that law firm but we have yet to hear back. Back to you.


ALLEN: The steady drumbeat of negative headlines from Russia investigation is eroding confidence among some of President Trump's strongest supporters. FOX News has been reliably protective of Mr. Trump but anchor Shepard Smith now seems fed up.


SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Why is it lie after lie?

If you clean, come on, clean, you know?

My grandmother used to say when first we practice to -- "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling and there are still people out there who believe we are making it up. And one day they're going to realize we're not. And look around and go, where are we and why are we getting told all these lies?


ALLEN: And it's not just Shep Smith of FOX; long-term conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has also broken rank, saying, quote, "The Russian scandal has entered a new phase and there is no going back."

Earlier I spoke with CNN legal analyst Paul Callan about the possible legal jeopardy now facing the Trump White House. Here is what he said.


PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There hasn't been a lot of evidence of an actual crime being committed, i.e., colluding with or conspiring with the Russians to actually tamper with the election by, say, breaking into a computer system.

But lying about who was at a meeting or how many people were at a meeting in connection with that investigation could be characterized as a cover-up.

If you lie to a federal investigatory authority, if you lie to a -- at a congressional hearing, those are crimes. And I think that's where the danger lies as this goes forward with members of the Trump administration.

They may trip and fall and bumble into criminality by simply not being straight about precisely what happened.

ALLEN: Do you think that's why perhaps the Trump team has brought in Washington lawyer Ty Cobb to head up their responses and head up the response to the media because of all of this drip, drip, drip?

CALLAN: I have no doubt that that's why they're lawyering up and they are bringing in heavyweight lawyers who many of them have a lot of Washington experience.

The Trumps seem to be approaching this like it's some kind of a real estate business deal. And they may be accustomed to business being done in a certain way --


CALLAN: -- but politics and governing are done in a very, very different way.

And when you get to this point where you have a federal investigation by a special counsel going on, you have to be very careful and very accurate in the statements you make.

And, to date, we have seen nothing but inaccurate statements coming out of the Trump administration. I really find it to be shocking. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Well former FBI director James Comey was part of the Russia investigation, he was heading it up at one point. But now he is putting pen to paper and writing a new book. It will detail his experiences in public service.

Comey was heading up the investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia until he was abruptly fired by President Trump in may. CNN's Brian Stelter, our media reporter, talked with CNN's Ana Cabrera about Comey's upcoming memoir.


BRIAN STELTER, CNNMONEY SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: He is going out actually pitching the book and he's probably going to have the deal in the next few days.

This is going to get interest from all the big publishing houses. You think about James Comey and the story he may be able to tell according to "The Times" is not just going to be a tell-all. This is going to a bigger book about his entire life's work, his career, and the big moments he has faced decisions in his career.

But all it takes is a few pages or a few chapters about what happened with President Trump to get publishing houses very interested. So it's sort of a no-brainer move by him but, up until now, we haven't heard anything about a book deal. He'll be out shopping this now.


ALLEN: He'll be talking more about the story and others related to the Trump investigation involving Russia on his program, "RELIABLE SOURCES," hosted by Brian Stelter a little later Sunday. That's 11:00 am Eastern time and 4:00 pm in London.

Still ahead here, a shocking look at the rising number of attacks against migrants and refugees in Germany and what might be behind them.

And in sport, can Roger Federer once again make history as he prepares for his 11th Wimbledon final?




ALLEN: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced increased security measures at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, also known as the Noble Sanctuary. Two Israeli police officers were shot and killed there Friday in what is being called a terrorist attack.

Meantime on Sunday, Israeli counterterrorism police shot and killed a Palestinian man, who attempted to shoot at them, reportedly during his arrest. Officials say he was a wanted terrorist.

More than 3,000 refugees and migrants were attacked in Germany last year. That's according to the interior ministry. The statistics reveal a stark reversal from the open-door culture that prevailed there just two years ago. Our Atika Shubert reports on the increase in violence against those who even appear to be migrants.



ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): According to police, this is where many of the attacks on refugees and migrants occur in Germany: trains and buses. That's what happened on this tram when Syrian refugee Faraz Naim (ph) said he saw two white men hurling abuse at a black passenger.

"I could not keep silent," he tells us.

"And what really shocked me was that no one did anything or said anything. I felt I had to do something," he said.

He started to film the confrontation on his mobile phone. He says one of the men grabbed his phone. Naim (ph) tried to escape but not fast enough. Naim (ph) shows us the police report and medical records. The two men assaulted him behind a shop.

Beaten and bleeding, he went to the store for help but he says he was ignored. Another shopkeeper came to his aid and called the police. But the attack scarred him.

"I lost my mobile phone. I was beaten. And especially, psychologically, I was hurt," he tells us. And that was difficult. Sometimes now, if I see Germans, I don't trust them."

Germany's federal police received more than 3,700 reports of attacks on refugee and migrants in 2016, a dramatic spike of more than 200 percent from the year before.

This, in part, is the backlash from Germany's brief open-door policy that allowed nearly a million refugees into the country in 2015. German police keep tabs on known neo-Nazi gangs to combat the surge in violence.

This video has just been released by one group promoting tolerance. It features testimonials from former neo-Nazis who have renounced violence.

But psychologist Eben Louw (ph), who counsels refugee victims like Naim (ph), tells us the problem now goes far beyond gang attacks. His clients are reporting spontaneous clashes between ordinary citizens, triggered by political differences.

Naim (ph) doesn't know who his attackers were and police haven't made any arrests yet. EBEN LOUW, PSYCHOLOGIST: The next-door neighbor can become a violent attacker within minutes because they don't want to see refugees in their country or -- and not only refugees; the whole issue of refugees has made the feelings, the animosity towards any kind of person who is perceived as a migrant.

SHUBERT (voice-over): That kind of random, spontaneous attack is much harder to prevent. And for victims like Naim (ph) it will take time to recover -- Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.


ALLEN: CNN has a revealing special report coming up. The network spoke with some of the women who left behind everything they knew to join ISIS in Raqqa, Syria. Some of them didn't find the love and better life they were promised under ISIS control.

And now they want to go back home but are stuck in limbo, as ISIS is under attack in Raqqa.

However, the stories of the ISIS brides are not all the same. Our Nick Paton Walsh spoke with a Syrian English teacher who was passing through Raqqa, where she found the love of her life.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Did you hear other stories of women who came looking for a husband?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They look to the European men that they are here and ISIS they are strong men. You know, with guns and they can protect them. It's an idea, that's just like movies.

And many of them want -- was very shocked, because when they got married from a man, you know, three, four days, one month and they've divorced.


ALLEN: That's part of the CNN special report called "The ISIS Wives of Raqqa." You can watch Nick Paton Walsh's report on Monday, only here on CNN.

One of the most wanted men in Venezuela has reappeared. Helicopter pilot Oscar Perez has been on the run after allegedly dropping grenades on the country's supreme court last month. In a new TV interview, he was asked if he fears for his life.


OSCAR PEREZ, HELICOPTER PILOT: We fear for the lives of all Venezuelans that not only die in the rallies but in the hospitals from illness, hunger, misery on the streets. Those are the lives we are worried about.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: He also urged Venezuelans to vote against President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday. The opposition is holding an unofficial and symbolic referendum on Maduro's plans to rewrite the constitution.



ALLEN: Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Natalie Allen; right back with the headlines.