Saturday, January 10, 2009

CIA money in Turkey - Covert Terror network BLOWN

Key detentions were made on Wednesday in the investigation of Ergenekon, a clandestine network of groups and individuals accused of trying to overthrow the government, and some segments of society, including the military, appear to be unnerved by the developments. Retired Gen. Tuncer Kılınç was detained in the investigation into Ergenekon and was questioned by the Ankara Police Department last week

It all started in July 2007 when a house full of weapons and munitions was found in the Ümraniye district of İstanbul. The police investigation resulted in the discovery of a shady gang with links to state agencies, and possibly the military, that had attempted to create an atmosphere conducive to a military takeover against a number of governments, most recently against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Turkey imprisons four army officers in Ergenekon case

ANKARA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Turkish court early on Saturday sentenced to prison four army officers in the ongoing "Ergenekon" investigation, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Five prosecutors, including Zekeriya Oz, the top prosecutor of the ongoing Ergenekon case, demanded a criminal court in the Turkish largest city of Istanbul to imprison four army officers on charges of being members of the "Ergenekon terrorist organization," according to the report.

The court decided to send the four officers to prison, and release two others, said the report.

An alleged criminal network known as "Ergenekon" was uncovered after police seized 27 grenades, TNT explosives and fuses in a shanty house in Istanbul on June 12, 2007.

Police waged operations in several provinces and detained a number of people, including retired senior army officers, journalists and businessmen, for their alleged involvement in the network.

A criminal court in Istanbul began trying 86 suspects, 46 of whom were in prison, in the "Ergenekon terrorist organization" case on Oct. 20, 2008.

Among the suspects were retired General Veli Kucuk, Labor Party Chairman Dogu Perincek, Cumhuriyet daily's editor-in-chief Ilhan Selcuk, and Professor Kemal Alemdaroglu, former president of Istanbul University.

When the latest wave of detentions in the Ergenekon investigation came to the country's agenda in a shocking manner, Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal reacted very harshly. This was very surprising

Ergenekon arms site unearthed in Gölbaşı

Police in Ankara discovered a munitions site in an investigation into the Ergenekon terrorist organization. Weapons, flamethrowers and hand grenades found buried under the ground appear to date from the year 2004. Other excavations are under way in various areas of the city. A large cache of weapons, ammunition and bombs was found yesterday buried underground in Ankara's Gölbaşı district, as a result of a police search based on a map found in the home of İbrahim Şahin, a former head of the National Police Department's Special Operations Unit. The operation came at a time when Şahin had ordered the assassination of non-Muslim minority leaders in Sivas.

Şahin was detained along with 36 others on Wednesday in the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine network of groups and individuals accused of trying to overthrow the government. Thirty varieties of explosives and bombs as well as three lightweight anti-tank weapons (LAWs) were found buried underground. The newspapers wrapped around the weapons were from the year 2004, the police said. According to the initial official list, there were a large number of bullets for 9mm guns, two LAV weapons, 10 hand grenades whose serial number had been deleted and 10 smoke bombs used in training with colored smoke. Another boxed explosive and an ignition mine were found in the first phases of the excavation, the police said. The materials found have yet to be examined thoroughly at a police crime lab. There were also plastic explosives buried.

The excavation of the site started on Thursday and continued until midday. The teams resumed excavation on Friday and located the munitions. Excavations were also launched in the Bala, Mamak, Emek, Beştepe, Saklıbahçe and Atatürk Orman Çiftliği districts of the city to locate more weapons possibly buried in these areas.

The operation started when Şahin, whose phone conversations have been tapped by police for at least two months, gave the order to finalize plans to assassinate Armenian community members in the city of Sivas. Twelve others were detained in Sivas during Wednesday's operation. Police also found shocking evidence that the group was plotting to kill prominent figures including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Former Chief of General Staff Yaşar Büykanıt, Police Department Intelligence Unit Chief Ramazan Akyürek, journalist Fehmi Koru, author Orhan Pamuk and some politicians including members of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP).

Gladio weapons fields

The fields brought to mind a great number of NATO-made arms depots found buried underground during an investigation started by Italian prosecutor Felice Casson, who discovered the existence of Operation Gladio, a NATO stay-behind paramilitary force left over from the Cold War. In a panel he joined in İstanbul last April, Casson said these weapons were found buried in cemeteries, under churches and even in caves. Ergenekon is also thought to be a remnant from the original Turkish Gladio, which was founded against a possible Soviet invasion during the Cold War, but later turned into an organization trying to cut off Turkey's ties with the West. The retired generals arrested in the Ergenekon investigation seem to have an anti-EU, anti-NATO stance favoring a closer relationship between Turkey and Russia and Eurasian nations.

Analysts said on Friday that the buried weapons might shed light on a number of murders committed in the Gölbaşı area prior to the Susurluk investigation of 1996, which started when a former police chief, a southeastern tribal leader whose men were armed by the state to fight separatist violence and an internationally wanted mafia boss were involved in an accident near the small township of Susurluk while riding in the same car. The police chief and the mafia boss as well as his girlfriend, a former model, were killed in the accident. No serious arrests followed from the ensuing investigation, which had exposed, for the first time in modern Turkish history, a gang with links to the state.

Some of the most significant unresolved murders were the assassination of Yusuf Ekinci, a lawyer of Kurdish origin, and the murder of retired Maj. Cem Ersever and his girlfriend. Investigators are examining possible links between the Gölbaşı weapons and unresolved murders in the area in the '90s.

Ergenekon suspects on the run

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Mustafa Dönmez, an Ergenekon suspect in whose houses in Sakarya and Ankara were found to contain dozens of bullets, hand grenades and weapons, is now reported to be a fugitive. On Wednesday Dönmez, who promised the police who called him on his cell phone to inform him that an arrest warrant had been issued for him that he would go to a police station "right away", disappeared shortly after the phone call. The police claim they arrived on Wednesday at the Adapazarı Central Command to capture Dönmez, but gendarmerie officers who said the area fell under gendarmerie jurisdiction said they would find Dönmez. Later, the gendarmerie told that police they had been unable to find Dönmez and that they believed he had escaped.

Twenty-two hand grenades, five revolvers and a Kalashnikovs as well as 8,300 bullets were found in a house belonging to the lieutenant colonel in Sakarya. The search in another house belonging to Dönmez in Ankara revealed three revolvers, 2 Kalashnikov rifles and a pair of night-vision binoculars.

Thirty-seven in total were detained in the last wave of Ergenekon detentions on Wednesday, including six army members who are currently on duty as well as seven retired generals. In addition to Dönmez, Bedrettin Dalan, a former mayor of the city of İstanbul, was also being searched by the police on Wednesday, but it soon turned out that he was in the US. However, some newspapers claimed on Friday was Dalan had evaded to the US after being tipped off on the Ergenekon operation.

Political clashes over Ergenekon

On Thursday, one day after the high-profile detentions, the traffic in Ankara between institutions was intense. Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ visited both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, with no statement on the content of the talks but stating that they were indeed about the recent detentions in which some retired generals and current officers were taken into custody. Newspapers wrote yesterday that Başbuğ was seeking special treatment for military members. According to sources which spoke to various newspapers, Başbuğ demanded that military members should be invited to the prosecutor's office instead of being taken into custody.

Sources also say that Başbuğ demanded that senior generals Hurşit Tolon and Şener Eruygur, arrested last year as part of the investigation, be released pending trial.

Başbuğ's visit on Thursday came after a 6-hour meeting of the Force Commanders on Wednesday evening, convened immediately after the detentions.

Accusations disrespectful to judiciary, says Şahin

Also yesterday, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin responded to allegations from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) that the Ergenekon investigation had turned into a witch-hunt against the government's opponents. CHP leader Deniz Baykal claimed the operation was a revenge against the secular Republic and its supporters. Şahin said, "Showing our prosecutors and judges because of their judicial activities to be "settling accounts with the Republic," is the highest form of disrespect that can be shown the judicial institution." Şahin called on all segments to show the utmost effort not to cast doubt upon the judiciary.

The unease is understandable since retired generals and other active officers were also detained Wednesday along with others as part of the ongoing Ergenekon investigation. The retired generals all served in the late ‘90s and are known for having played key roles in the process of Feb. 28, 1997, which began when the government was forced to resign as a result of an unarmed military intervention launched on that day.

Force commanders came together on Wednesday for a six-hour meeting immediately after the detentions. On Thursday, Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül. The military admitted in a statement that the meetings were concerning the detentions, but did not elaborate. On Friday, newspapers, relying on various sources, reported that Başbuğ had appealed to the prime minister to be “nice” to retired generals under detention or arrest in the Ergenekon investigation. The move has caused many to wonder, based on past experience, whether the military will try to place an obstacle in the way of the investigation.

In the Feb. 28 process, an intelligence agency official and a military officer were taken to court for exposing army generals’ attempts to influence civilian politics. The judge, Maj. Mesut Kurşun, said Thursday that there was great pressure put on him and other military judges by Gen. Erdal Şenel, who was also detained on Wednesday, not to acquit the suspects. The suspects were first put under arrest and then acquitted. Shortly after the acquittal, Kurşun was called to Şenel’s office at the General Staff Command and was threatened. Kurşun believes that investigating Ergenekon comprehensively and courageously will finally shed light on many dark points in Turkey’s history.

A similar experience took place in the Nov. 9, 2005 Şemdinli affair. On that date, a bookstore in the southeastern township of Şemdinli owned by a former Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) member was bombed. Two noncommissioned army officers and a PKK informant were caught trying to flee the scene after having planted the bomb. The ensuing trial took months. Then Land Forces Commander Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt spoke in favor of one of the noncommissioned officers, referring to him as a “good guy” whom he knew from earlier times when he had served in the region. A campaign to scare off the judiciary not dissimilar to the current one against Ergenekon was started by some segments of society.

At the time, however, the government did not have the political will to stand against the shadier relations within the state hierarchy. The prosecutor, Ferhat Sarıkaya, was disbarred by the Supreme Board of Prosecutors and Judges (HSYK) shortly after he indicted Büyükanıt for being part of a dubious and clandestine formation inside the gendarmerie in the Southeast. The three assailants were sentenced to 40 years in prison after a lengthy trial process in a civilian court. Last year, the Supreme Court of Appeals declared a mistrial and referred the case to a military court to start everything from scratch. The proceedings at the military court have not been shared with the public so far.

Although the military has not criticized the detentions openly since Wednesday, Gen. Başbuğ’s approval of a visit by military generals to two retired Ergenekon generals, Şener Eruygur and Hurşit Tolon, in jail had hinted that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) was supporting the two generals, who were accused of plotting against the government.

According to Hasan Celal Güzel, a former minister and currently a columnist in the Radikal daily, the visit to the generals was a clear message that the military would protect its retired generals. “It is quite obvious that a TSK administration giving such a message would not try or allow the trial of coup plotters.”

Other obstacles along the way

Güzel said in addition to the military, a potential obstacle to the smooth functioning of the investigation and the trial could be the omission of diaries that were allegedly written by a top navy admiral detailing plans for two separate coup d’etat attempts against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in 2004. The diaries were made public last year by a newsweekly that has since been shut down by its owner, who felt pressured by authorities. No investigation was made into the diaries or into their alleged owner.

“There is a semi-militarist democracy in Turkey. We can’t seem to get the alleged coup attempts mentioned in the two diaries. We are trying a coup attempt, albeit in an indirect way,” Güzel said, recalling that Eruygur and Tolon were frequently mentioned in the diaries “because the prosecution accuses the two former generals of destroying the government and stopping Parliament from functioning. This is not something you can possibly do without a military overthrow of the government.” He added that he saw the Ergenekon trial as the most important case in the history of the Republic of Turkey. He thinks, however, that not all elements of the Ergenekon structure inside the TSK have been cleaned up. “Ergenekon is TSK centered, and its elements in the TSK have not yet been cleaned up. The prosecutors conducting the Ergenekon investigation have hit against the immunity shield of the TSK. We either need a change of the Constitution, or we need the TSK to take a democratic stance and do its cleaning-up on its own. Although recent developments give hope that this may be taking place, I think it would be too optimistic to believe that the current commanders would allow the investigation to get deeper,” Güzel said, predicting that the military will not make things easy during the future course of the investigation.

Gladio-like organizations

Fikri Sağlar, a former culture minister who was also an active member of the parliamentary commission into the Susurluk Affair of 1996, said the Ergenekon structure is part of Operation Gladio, a NATO stay-behind paramilitary force left over from the Cold War in European countries, whose existence was not discovered even by politicians in Europe until the ‘90s. According to Sağlar, the Feb. 28 process itself was carried out by the same group; however, since the investigation yielded no results, the Ergenekon organization had emerged from the Susurluk affair.

Sağlar warned that one of the major obstacles faced by the Ergenekon investigation is a mistake of methodology. He believes that the prosecution should convince the public that there is strong evidence to match the serious allegations directed at each person who is detained in the investigation. “It is impossible to solve this without including the coup diaries in the indictment,” Sağlar added, noting that there was an international dimension to the Ergenekon structure, which he said has both military and civilian appendages.

Opposition is not helping either

The military is not the only concern for the healthy continuation of the probe. After the detentions, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal immediately called a news conference, claiming that the detentions were politically motivated and that they were an attempt on the part of the government to “change the regime.”

Many believe such a reaction to the detentions is dangerous and might harm the investigation. “Although there is a political will to do so, there is obviously uneasiness from the side of the judiciary, the military bureaucracy and other groups, which might stall the Ergenekon investigation eventually,” warned Yusuf Alataş, former head of the Human Rights Association (İHD). “Political will alone may not be enough. Baykal defending the suspects might make solving this network of shady relationships very difficult.”

Mehmet Elkatmış, head of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission at the time of the Şemdinli affair, said statements such as Baykal’s and the acts of judicial institutions, such as an ad hoc and urgent meeting of the chairmen of the Supreme Court of Appeals, were causing chaos and that they were an attempt to politicize the case as well as make sure that it doesn’t lead anywhere. “This is exactly what happened in Şemdinli, and nothing came out of that,” Elkatmış said. “If Turkey doesn’t clean out these structures, it will continue to be a country of shady and filthy relationships.”

Elkatmış also agrees that illegal structures inside the state have military and civilian branches, but these are shaped through the military bureaucracy. “The arrests of retired generals and active officers in itself are enough to show that the Turkish military is closely related to Ergenekon,” he said. Elkatmış also highlighted that it would not be realistic to expect that the arrests were made without prior approval of the military. Referring to the earlier visit to Ergenekon generals in jail and the supposed approval of the military, Elkatmış said: “These attitudes that contradict each other really make the position of the military on Ergenekon ambiguous. It is like the question: Is it the chicken or the egg?”

Journalist and author Nazlı Ilıcak does not agree that the military will be a problem. “The military is not making too much of an intervention. I think the military is not against the investigation getting deeper. The retired generals and active officers that were detained have been detained with permission from the General Staff. I do not think this can be done without permission,” she said.

She also said it was not right to see the recent wave of detentions as revenge for the Feb. 28 process.

Another person who thinks the international branches of the Ergenekon organization deserve more focus is Ömer Vehbi Hatipoğlu, deputy chairman of the Felicity Party (SP). “This is only the tip of the iceberg,” Hatipoğlu told Sunday’s Zaman. “We haven’t really gotten too deep yet. If I was to speak of the things I know, Ergenekon would disappear under shadows. Such structures have been poisoning politics in Turkey since 1960.”

Hatipoğlu said the deepening of the investigation would show that every attempt against the parliamentary system is organized by the same circle of groups and individuals. He also stated that even if the domestic structure of Ergenekon were resolved, the foreign parts of it would never be completely revealed.
11 january 2009

The shady gang named Ergenekon is suspected of a number of political murders, including that of a senior judge in a shooting at the Council of State in 2006 and a hand grenade attack on the secularist Cumhuriyet daily. Academics, businessmen, mafia bosses and retired military officers, including former generals, are among more than 100 suspects accused of various crimes in the indictment, submitted to a court in the middle of last summer.

In one of the phases of the Ergenekon investigation, 13 individuals including Workers’ Party (İP) Chairman Doğu Perinçek, Cumhuriyet daily columnist İlhan Selçuk and former İstanbul University Rector Kemal Alemdaroğlu were detained. While Perinçek was sent to jail, Alemdaroğlu and Selçuk were released pending trial after being interrogated.

There were allegations that Perinçek wrote the Ergenekon manifesto, that Selçuk was a senior manager of the organization and that Alemdaroğlu was engaged in coup plans.

But how people from such different backgrounds and professions came together and designed coup plans has been an intensely debated issue in Turkey, and with the most recent detentions last Wednesday -- which included three retired generals and 10 active duty officers of various ranks -- the debate has become more intense than ever.

After the latest wave of detentions, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal called a news conference, claiming that the detentions were politically motivated and that they were an attempt on the part of the government to “change the regime.” On Wednesday evening, the General Staff also called an immediate meeting of force generals, who did not issue any statement after holding their six-hour meeting. Belittling the investigation, Baykal has already offered to be an attorney for the Ergenekon suspects; so has former President Süleyman Demirel.

Suspects motivated to save country

Attorney Yusuf Alataş, who has taken on many cases involving political figures, has said the founders of Ergenekon probably had a common motivation -- “to save the country.”

“For them, the country is about to be occupied or has already been occupied, and it has to be saved,” he explained, adding that right-wing people in the organization were convinced that communists would seize the country, left-wingers were convinced that imperialists would seize the country and secular-minded people were convinced that Shariah would replace the current regime.

“So even people who would never be able to get along came together in the same organization, probably without even knowing each other. Only the upper-rank coordinators who used them knew who was who.”

Indicating that the Ergenekon organization is not new, Alataş said it is based on Gladio, a code name denoting the clandestine NATO stay-behind operation in Italy after World War II. In Italy in the 1970s, it was discovered that explosives used in an attack that killed three gendarmes in Pateano came from an arms depot belonging to a secret organization. As the investigation developed, the existence of an organization named Gladio was discovered. In the course of the ensuing investigation, more than 600 Gladio members, including two people who had served as prime minister and president, were exposed.

‘Ergenekon goes back to Feb. 28 period’

According to journalist and writer Nazlı Ilıcak, the Ergenekon terrorist organization was deeply involved in the psychological dimension of the unarmed military intervention of 1997, commonly referred to as the “Feb. 28 process.”

Ilıcak explained that in the run-up to the Feb. 28 process, Ergenekon was involved in creating a suitable atmosphere to curb the rise of the religiously minded Welfare Party (RP), which has since been shut down by the Constitutional Court.

“A campaign led by the military used the media, civil society groups and academics as tools to spread propaganda,” she said, referring to the Feb. 28 process, also dubbed the “post-modern coup,” in which the coalition government was forced to resign.

She also said the West Study Group (BÇG), which was known to be active in most of the events that led up to the unarmed military intervention of Feb. 28, may be viewed as an extension of Ergenekon.

Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputy Sırrı Sakık said the Ergenekon gang was strengthened by developments in southeastern Turkey following the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup.

“Such organizations have become stronger, being fed by the unlawful environment in the Kurdish region,” he said, referring to unsolved murders committed in the Southeast.

“There have been 17,000 unsolved murders. Look who was in charge of the country when those murders were committed: Süleyman Demiral, Tansu Çiller, Mesut Yılmaz and Necmettin Erbakan. Turkey should face not only Ergenekon but also its past,” Sakık said.

‘Indictment needed to explain latest detentions’

Felicity Party (SP) Deputy Chairman Ömer Vehbi Hatipoğlu said the Ergenekon prosecutors should put forward their indictment as soon as possible to explain the reason why, for example, two figures as seemingly unrelated as former Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoğlu and former Special Police Operations Deputy Chief İbrahim Şahin, who served six years in jail after Susurluk (the 1996 scandal in which ties between subversive elements and the state were established for the first time), have been detained in relation to the Ergenekon case.

“It’s hard to understand the links that brought unrelated people together in the Ergenekon case. These will be understood with the release of the prosecutor’s indictment. If a prosecutor feels the need to search the home of Kanadoğlu, that means he has serious reasons for it. There seem to be mutual ideals to unite these people,” he said.

Journalist Celal Kazdağlı, who investigated the “deep state,” reiterated the idea that the detentions show that those people came together because they shared the same purpose.

“They do not necessarily have to know each other. There are ideologues who plan the big picture, and there are pawns to be used. Everyone does his or her own thing in the operation.”

So far, waves of detentions and more discoveries of weapons serve as pieces to complete the mosaic of Ergenekon, and the investigation may in fact present an opportunity for an in-depth analysis of the past 50 years in Turkey

Several Turkish ultranationalist celebrities have been taken into custody, and the nation is surprised -- not because of the identity of these elites but how prosecutors dared to put them in custody. Otherwise, knowing the ideology and rhetoric of these people, nobody is surprised that these people might have connections with the Gladio-style Ergenekon terror gang. I have one more reason not be surprised: I regularly revisit retired Adm. Özden Örnek's memoirs -- some parts are available on the Internet -- and see at what stage the Ergenekon operation is.

I can easily guess and follow who could be targeted next by prosecutors, but some of the names mentioned by Adm. Örnek are so big and untouchable that I always think that the prosecutors will have to stop somewhere. They might have to. Have you not seen what the generals did after the recent arrests? They had a publicly advertised meeting from noon to midnight. The chief of general staff then requested an unscheduled appointment with the prime minister, and then he went on to see the president.

The Web site of the General Staff stated afterward that the topic of the meetings was the recent events in Turkey so that we would be sure that it was about Ergenekon and not about sending our troops as a part of a probable UN-brokered peacekeeping operation in Gaza. Yes, we sense that there is a tacit agreement between the military and politicians and possibly the US that this organization should be dissolved, but one always presumes that as part of the bargain or in the name of protecting the integrity and honor of state institutions, the trial will only put the spotlight on the third-tier members of the organization, leaving the top echelons out but also preventing them from causing more harm.

Adm. Örnek mentions so many big names that the coup-lover generals, Adm. Örnek and his friends, had spoken with the explicit aim of staging a coup against the democratically elected and the most pro-EU government we have seen so far, that when reading the memoirs, one cannot help but remember Agatha Christie's renowned "Murder on the Orient Express."

God! Similar to the midnight express, you see that almost everyone who has a grudge against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government for all sorts of reasons has fantasized with the generals about a possible coup and talked about how to bring it into existence. Some of the names mentioned in the "Memoir Express" are already in custody or before the judge. If you want to guesstimate who could be next, please refer to the memoirs. You will be surprised.

They are, of course, innocent until proven otherwise, but these people are so powerful that, as a Turkish columnist wrote a few days ago, "Let alone prosecuting and arresting them, the prosecutor would not even dare to phone these people to just greet them." Common sense tells me that without solid evidence only an insane prosecutor could arrest these upper-elites.

Given the fact that the prosecutors have discovered dozens of "secular hand grenades" in several suspects' houses, it seems that the suspects will have difficulty in challenging the prosecutors' accusations. Let me finish this issue by unskillfully connecting it to the terrorist Israel and its Zionist and neocon lawyers: The only way, it seems, for Ergenekon suspects caught almost red-handed with bombs and weapons to protest their innocence would be to prove that they are Semite. Then, they can accuse the prosecutors and all of us by saying that they have been accused just because we are all anti-Semitic racists.

The Ergenekon investigation is a probe into a terrorist organization. Most of the 44 people detained Wednesday are accused of storing ammunition and plotting assassinations. These accusations also include plans to carry out a series of assassinations aimed at sending shockwaves through the country. These are very serious claims. The detentions, requested by prosecutors of the case, are just as serious. One can hardly make sense of Baykal's harsh criticism and of the polemics he engaged in with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Baykal describes these detentions as attacks against the regime. In fact, most of those who disapprove of the latest detentions resort to the same justification. Former Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoğlu, whose house was searched, claimed that there is a "risk of a religious dictatorship." Nongovernmental organizations that align with the CHP made references to secularism and the republic. The language used by opponents of the detentions is the same. Almost all of the words picked to describe the situation are military phrases, an example of which is Baykal's comment "I ring an alarm." Baykal is announcing a campaign; he called on everyone to revolt against the legal process and employed metaphors to send messages to certain circles.

What does it mean to depict a terrorist organization investigation as merely an attack on the republican regime and to attempt to put pressure on a legal process by making threats? Why can the Ergenekon investigation not be restricted to the courtroom, but must instead develop into a full-fledged political confrontation? Why do civil organizations jump to their feet to defend Ergenekon?

Ergenekon as a political organization

This is because Ergenekon is also a huge political organization. This organization plays a very critical role in the balances of the state and the political apparatus. Ergenekon is a military organization based on a very comprehensive civilian network. When one recalls the fact that Ergenekon is the Counter-Guerrilla organization, one can understand the reasons for the ongoing political war waged in connection with the latest detentions.

Ergenekon is the Counter-Guerrilla organization. In order to understand the composition of this organization, we need to have a look not at the Turkish political traditions, but the Counter-Guerrilla warfare concept developed by NATO in the Cold War era. These sorts of organizations were established in the 1950s with the ability to interfere in politics. In order to fight an ideological struggle against the Soviet Union, civilian and political organization models were developed. Provocations such as assassinations and sabotage and the armed structure of these organizations were designed as tools for this political war. In Italy, the Gladio investigation unearthed the civilian capabilities of this organization. Gladio was found to have 12,000 civilian group leaders throughout Italy. The 12,000 people and their followers amount to hundreds of thousands of people and represented considerable power. We must also remember that many former deputies and former ministers were tried and convicted in the Gladio trial.

It is obvious that Ergenekon's structure, styled à la Gladio, is no different than that of Gladio. Flag rallies that mobilized masses at the time of Nevruz in 2005 as well as republican rallies held in 2007, i.e., massive civilian demonstrations, are now known to have been organized by this organization. In sum, the formula consists of a civilian organization that mobilizes social movements, a terrorist organization that commits murders and a junta that seeks to conduct coups and overthrow the democratic government. One can also understand why the Turkish Counter-Guerrilla had outlived and proved to be stronger than its counterparts in Europe: to take politics under its close control and pave the way for military coups.

One can also expect this huge organization to have lawyers to defend it whenever it steps into trouble. It is for this reason that those who oppose the latest detentions and attempt to defend Ergenekon by putting pressure on judges and prosecutors should be viewed as part of Ergenekon's wide network.

Current stage of Ergenekon trial

We must take Baykal's alarm-ringing seriously. Indeed, the latest detentions show that the Ergenekon investigation has entered a very advanced stage. This stage is very important for a number of reasons.

First, what we see this time can be depicted properly not as a wave, but as a storm. Under normal circumstances, a prosecutor must first think things through before inquiring over the phone about the health of individuals included in the above-mentioned list, let alone detaining them or searching their houses. Law as we know it does not rely on mathematical formulas. Before taking any action, a prosecutor must take into account many details. If a prosecutor knocks on the door of a general who had in the past worked as the secretary-general of the National Security Council (MGK), to which Turkey's security is entrusted and where the country's most confidential information is discussed, and accuses him of being involved in the Ergenekon terrorist organization, then he must have made his finest calculations. Moreover, these finest calculations also apply to the others on the list: a former Higher Education Board (YÖK) president, a former mayor of İstanbul and, most importantly, a former chief prosecutor who would change the course of the most critical trials with several statements.

This storm clearly shows that the Ergenekon trial will go on its course unimpeded, contrary to what has been suggested in occasionally increasing magnitudes to mislead the general public. Before the indictment was announced, prosecutors assigned to the investigation were being accused of detaining innocent people for extended periods and of not preparing the indictment because of a lack of conclusive evidence. When the indictment was announced, a large chorus of critics tried to ridicule it in an effort to dismiss its seriousness. They claimed that a case with such a voluminous indictment could not be concluded. After the trial began, the courthouse was criticized. When the Council of State attack was finally associated with the Ergenekon trial, doubts began to diminish. The latest storm effectively refuted the pessimism and propaganda saying the trial would soon lose focus and lead to criminals eventually being released. The judiciary is doing its job without hesitation.

Third is the main direction of this investigation. The composition revealed by the last detentions shows that this is truly a Counter-Guerrilla investigation. In addition to retired generals, 44 people detained include officers who are on active duty. The qualifications and duties of these officers clearly imply that the investigation is against the Counter-Guerrilla. We must also note that retired Gen. Kemal Yavuz, detained in the last wave, was the former head of the Special Warfare Department. In the indictment, the prosecutors clearly stated that this organization was established within the scope of NATO operations after World War II and in time went out of control and developed into a criminal organization. It follows that the indictment is based on the correct axis and the correct evidence and information. The Ergenekon trial is a Counter-Guerrilla war. The composition revealed by the last storm complies with the nature of the military-civilian organization. In addition, it gives us hints about what high levels this organization may have reached.

The conclusion we can arrive at is that the Ergenekon trial will continue on its course, as it should in a country governed by the rule of law. Our prosecutors pay heed only to concrete evidence, not to the titles of people associated with this trial.

As for the political confrontation waged around the Ergenekon investigation, the civilian elements of Ergenekon are shouting claims that the regime and the republic are in danger. No, it is not the secular republic that is at risk in Turkey. Rather, this process will further reinforce the rule of law and the regime by putting an end to the dark and shadowy networks.

In short, Turkey is purging its Counter-Guerrilla and is making a lot of noise doing it. After all, Ergenekon is a very large group

StumbleUpon PLEASE give it a thumbs up Stumble It!
Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at 6:35 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home