ERGENEKON IS OUR REALITY
HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA ASSOCIATION
Table of Contents
1.Ergenekon Does Not Exist•13
2.Ergenekon is a Political Case•23
3.The Ergenekon Investigation Has Created An Atmosphere of Fear in Turkey•29
4.It Is Not True That The Military Planned A Coup•33
5.The Council of State Attack Is Not Linked To Ergenekon•39
6.Attacks on the Cumhuriyet Daily are not Linked to Ergenekon•43
7.Claim That Attacks on Non-Muslims Are Linked To Ergenekon Is A Conspiracy Theory•47
8.Independent Media Does Not Exist In Turkey; IndependentPressOrgans Have Been Intimidated•51
9.Weapons and Munitions Seized as Part of the Ergenekon Probe Do Not Make Much Sense•53
10.Ergenekon Investigation and Case Are Full of Serious Human Rights Violations•57
List of Workshop Participants and Contributors•63
Twenty-seven hand grenades seized in a shanty house in Istanbul’s Ümraniye districtinJune2007ledtothestartofanunprecedentedprocessforTurkey.Having trackeddownthesourceofthegrenades,whichbelongedtoaretiredmilitaryofficer, prosecutorsfoundotherarmscaches,assassinationplans,coupdiaries,actionplans and clues to some of the political murders of the recent past. As the investigation deepened, they reached the conclusion that they were faced with an organized structure that committed crimes using the power of the state. That was how the Ergenekon case started. Indeed, the existence of intra-state circles that do not see themselves as bound by the law, often referred to as the “deep state,” is no mystery tothosewhoareintimatelyfamiliarwiththeTurkishpoliticalsystem.
The modern history of Turkey — which has a somewhat long and established traditionofadeepstate–canalsobeconsideredahistoryof“deepoperations.”The operations may look like a film script to a foreigner. Non-Muslims, pious Muslims, Alevis, Kurds and intellectuals have fallen victim to provocations. In the wake of attacks in which the shadow of the deep state was clearly seen, non-Muslims were madetofleethecountry,Alevisweremassacred,thousandsofKurdishvillageswere set ablaze and later evacuated, and hundreds of intellectuals were assassinated in professional hits, and any era in which tension was high due to such provocations endedupwithamilitarytakeover.
Failingtoconfront themassacresofnon-Muslims bytheIttihat veTerakkiCemiyeti (Committee of Union and Progress) during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey bequeathed the remains of the deep state to its newborn republic. It would be impossible to understand how the counter-guerrilla (stay-behind force) — established within all NATO countries in the 1950s — managed to grow such deep roots in Turkey without first knowing the historical heritage and state tradition peculiar to this country. Originally set up to avert a possible Soviet invasion, these “secret armies” turned out to be used with the ulterior motive of suppressing the “opposition”inItalyandTurkeyandestablishingacontinuousauthoritarianregime.
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The first known provocation of the counter-guerrilla, initially formed under the name of the Tactical Mobilization Group and later renamed the Special Warfare Unit, was the pogroms of Sept. 6-7, 1955, when all houses and places of business belonging to non-Muslims in Istanbul were destroyed. A retired commander of the
|Special Warfare Command, Sabri Yirmibesoglu, later described1||the incidents as “an|
|The fingerprints of this2 structure are seen on the long and bloody3||path to the Sept.|
|12, 1980, coup d’état. During May 1 celebrations in 1977, 34 people were killed|
|and 136 others were injured as a result of shots fired from the roofs of buildings|
|located in the vicinity of the demonstrations. The perpetrators of the attack have|
|who carried out the attack was released three or four months later. Ankara Public|
|Prosecutor Dogan Öz was gunned down5on March 24, 1978, as he was probing the|
|after a bomb7||was thrown at left-leaning students at Istanbul University on March|
|16, 1978. Confessions of suspects revealed that the explosive was provided from a8|
|strangling to death of seven university students in Ankara’s Bahçelievler district.|
|was successive massacres of Alevis. The Malatya massacre of April 18, 1978, which|
|a mail bomb, was followed by the Sivas (Sept. 4, 1978), Maras (Dec. 19, 1978) and|
|2||For further information about the Special Warfare Unit, see Ecevit Kiliç, “Özel Harp Dairesi”|
Çorum (May 28, 1980) massacres.10 Similarly, hundreds of people lost their lives in armed attacks in 1978 and 1979, and prominent intellectuals and writers were assassinated one after another. Mehmet Ali Agca, who assassinated Milliyet Editor- in-Chief Abdi Ipekçi on Feb. 1, 1979, managed to “flee”11 from the Kartal Military Prison–oneofTurkey’shighest-securityprisons–onJune15,1979,withthehelp ofhisfriend,Çatli.Later,AgcawastoattempttokillPopeJohnPaulII.Inthewakeof all the bloody provocations, of which we have space to mention only a few, Turkey wokeuptothebootstepsofabloodycoupd’étatonSept.12,1980.
The task of carrying out the illegal work of the deep state was undertaken in the 1990s by the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-Terrorism Organization (JITEM), anillegalformationwithinthegendarmerie,insteadoftheSpecialWarfareUnit.The southeastern parts of Turkey turned into an empire of fear at the hands of JITEM as thousands of Turkish citizens of Kurdish ethnicity lost their lives in extrajudicial killingsandaround3,500Kurdishvillageswereburned.12
OnNov.3,1996,Çatli,whowasontherunandsoughtonarednotice,wasinvolvedin aroadaccidentinthesamecarasapoliceofficerandadeputy.Theaccidentoccurred in Susurluk, Balikesir province, and revealed the existence of dark relations within the state between the mafia and politicians. This incident went down in history as the“Susurlukscandal.”13
Despiteahistoryofbloodyincidentsandscandals,Turkeyneverdaredrootoutthe illegalformationcalledthedeepstate.InperiodsfollowingSusurluk,parliamentary commissionsestablishedtoinvestigatetheillegalactivitiesofthestateencountered strongresistanceandthusfailedintheirmission.Forexample,securityforceswere unabletoeveninterrogateagendarmeriecommander,retiredGen.VeliKüçük,who is believed to be the founder of JITEM and one of the architects of the deep state exposedbytheSusurlukscandal.
To sum up, the perpetrators of the provocations masterminded by the deep state before and after Sept. 12, 1980 benefitted from an absolute immunity from prosecution.
From a historical perspective, the Ergenekon investigation constitutes a milestone in Turkey. The Ergenekon case implies an end to the immunity from which state- related groups and groups nested within the state have thus far benefitted. Thanks to the Ergenekon investigation and case, a court has managed to look more closely
10Atilla Akar, “Türkiye Komplolar ve Provokasyonlar Tarihi” [Turkey’s History of Conspiracies andProvocations],Profilyayinlari,Istanbul2009,pp.175-207
11http://www.milliyet.com.tr/Guncel/HaberDetay.aspx?aType=HaberDetayArsiv&KategoriID= 24&ArticleID=1054077 [Retrieved Feb. 1, 2009, from the milliyet.com.tr website: Questions leftunansweredafterIpekçiassassination]
12http://gabardagi.azbuz.ekolay.net/readArticle.jsp?objectID=5000000006051754 [Retrieved fromthegabardagiwebsite:BurnedvillagesandStreetchilderen]
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at planned coups and coup preparations, including assassinations, bombings and manipulation of the public through the media. The founders of JITEM and the most important figures of the Susurluk scandal have for the first time appeared in court onchargesofmembershipinErgenekon.Thepoliticalatmospherecreatedwiththe launch of the Ergenekon case has opened the way for the initiation of other cases thataimtoexaminetheprevious“sins”ofthedeepstate.
However,theErgenekoncasehasspurredTurkey’spro-statusquocirclestoadvocate the organization. In parallel with attempts within the country to acquit the gang of all charges, Turkey has witnessed orchestrated efforts abroad to depict the steps Turkey has taken on the path to becoming a country governed by the rule of law as thoughtheywerepartofapoliticalplot.
Prominent press organs in Europe and the United States have featured dozens of Ergenekon-relatedarticlesinthepastyear.Excludingthosethatareaccurateintheir evaluationoftheErgenekonprobe,amajorityofthearticlesseetheinvestigationasa conflictbetweenthe“secular”and“pious”sidesinTurkey,aratherclassicviewpoint. Certain circles that wish to curb the international support flowing to the historic Ergenekon case strive to present the case to Western readers — who unfortunately have no chance at all to access primary sources related to the case — as if it were a plot by Turkey’s “religious” ruling party, which allegedly aims to undermine the country’s secular order. In Turkey, opponents of the Ergenekon case hope to show it as a “plan by the government — a strong collaborator of the West — and religious communitiestogetridofnationalistpowers,”whiletheyworkabroadtoportraythe case as “an attempt by the Islamist government to get rid of the secular opposition inthecountry.”Furthermore,somewritersdonotrefrainfrompresentingtheirown opposition to the Ergenekon case as though it were the opinion of “Turkish liberals anddemocrats”inordertostrengthentheirtheses.
A correct evaluation of the case has particular importance for the conclusion of the trial, which has been ongoing despite various difficulties. It is of vital significance fordemocratsandrightsadvocatesandvulnerablegroupswithinthesociety,which suffered much at the hands of the deep state. The responsibility that falls on the shouldersofdemocratsandrightsadvocatesisnotaslightasthatofthosewhoreduce thewholecasetoasimple“conspiracy”astheErgenekoncaseismoreimportantfor theminmoraltermsthaninitspoliticaldimensions.Inotherwords,theErgenekon casesignifiesnotonlythetrialoffigureswhoareaccusedofthousandsofunsolved murdersperpetratedparticularlyintheSoutheastbutalsothedefenseoftherightof suspectstoafairtrial.Asproceedingsarestillunderway,webelieveargumentsover the trial should be given voice to from an impersonal perspective and in extremely meticulous language. The paper you are reading is indeed the product of such concern.
Inthispaper,wewishtoquestionthevastmisinformationrelatedtotheErgenekon case and “cross-examine” the mindset and its arguments, which have already made
their way to Western press organs. For that purpose, as the Young Civilians and the HumanRightsAgendaAssociation,weheldatwo-dayworkshopinIstanbulonApril 10-11, 2010, during which all claims put forward by opponents of the Ergenekon case were discussed thoroughly by Turkey’s leading rights advocates, intellectuals, juristsandcivilsocietyrepresentativesas“hypotheses.”Participantsoftheworkshop from various points along the political spectrum — who are better known for their perspective of non-discriminative human rights and sensitivity to democracy — sought answersto the claims. Nomatter whethertheywereput forward as a result ofmisinformationoriftheyareintendedtoprotecttherightofErgenekonsuspects toafairtrial,allmainclaimswereindividuallydiscussed,independentofthepersons whoputthemforward.
The discussion topics included in the paper have been prepared by Orhan Kemal Cengizfollowingadetailedexamination ofmediaresourcesontheErgenekoncase. Nearly 50 participants of the workshop responded to claims frequently expressed by opponents of the Ergenekon case and investigation. The findings of the paper wereenrichedwiththeviewsofesteemedhumanrightsadvocatesandintellectuals, whounfortunatelywerenotinattendanceattheworkshop.
WeowethankstoeveryonewhosenamesareincludedintheWorkshopParticipants andContributorslistanddevotethepapertotheindividualsandtheirfamilieswho werevictimizedorlosttheirlivesonthepathofTurkey’slongandbitteradventure todemocracy.
ERGENEKON IS OUR REALITY
Orhan Kemal Cengiz
1 Ergenekon Does Not
Orhan Pamuk (Nobel laureate writer) :
“What I can say about [the] Ergenekon [case] is that the issue has become politicized. Everyone wants the case to be politicized. All I care about the Ergenekon case is its political aspect, regardless of the background by which it is nurtured, which could be republicanism, Atatürkism, political Islamism, liberalism, left-wing politics or conservatism. On the one hand, there are murderers. I am convinced of that because they wanted to kill me, too. It would be immoral to protect the murderers for political reasons. And so would it be to protect them and to extenuate their guilt with various excuses.
Acountrywhereretiredmilitaryofficers, themafia andgangskillpeopleand threaten them to keep silent would not be a moral country. I would have to
say that protecting Ergenekon members and murderers is not moral at all.”14
CLAIM: There is no clear evidence at hand that Ergenekon used to exist or currently exists, as claimed in the indictment.
ErgenekonGROUP EVALUATION:exists, and its existence was not a secret before the launch of the investigation.15 Ergenekon is what the organization calls itself. Main documents pointing to the existence of the organization are included in the Ergenekon case
14http://orhan-pamuk.com/roportajlar/79-ergenekon-benide-oldurecekti [Retrieved from the orhan-pamuk.comwebsite:Ergenekonwouldkillme,too]
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file. Numerous documents that revealed the name, function, methods and mindset of the organization were seized in police searches at the homes or offices of the organization’sofficialsandmembers.16
— Ergenekon, Analiz Yeni Yapilanma Yönetim ve Gelistirme Projesi [Ergenekon, AnalysisProjectofRestructuring,ManagementandDevelopment]/Istanbul–Oct.29,1999;
— Reaksiyon,Etnik/Fundamentalist/Bölücü/YikiciUnsurlarAnalizveTasfiyeProjesi [Reaction, -Project to Analyze and Expurgate Ethnic/Fundamentalist/Separatist/Destructive Elements/Istanbul-November1999
—Kanal6,AnalizYönetimveGelistirme(VeliKÜCÜK,ÜmitOGUZTAN)Projesi“Türkiye’detelevizyonyaslilariçinçok yenigençleriçinçokeskidir”[Channel6,AnalysisProjecttoManageandAdvance“Television is too new for the old, and too old for the young in Turkey / Istanbul-November 1999 ( Veli KÜÇÜK —NBC Silahlari Üretim Analizi [Analysis on Production of NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical)Weapons]/Istanbul–Nov.13,1999
1999 —Devletin Yeniden Yapilanmasi Üzerine(ÜmitOGUZTAN)[On the State’s Restructuring] / Nov. 25, (TuncayGÜNEY,DoguPERINÇEK)—DevletinYenidenYapilanmasiIçinÖneriler(Mastirplanönçalismasi)[Suggestions for the State’s Restructuring (Preliminary work for the Master’s Degree)] / (Kuddusi OKKIR,
MuzafferTEKIN,—Lobi [Lobby]MehmetZekeriyaÖZTÜRK)/ December 1999 (Oktay YILDIRIM, Mehmet Zekeriya ÖZTÜRK,
MuzafferTEKIN,SevgiERENEROL,—Olusum [Formation] /TuncayGÜNEY)December 1999
(Veli KÜÇÜK, Dogu PERINÇEK, Tuncay
2000 —Fabrikatör, Gözlem Analiz [Fabricator: Observation, Analysis](ÜmitOGUZTAN)/ Istanbul, February ( (VeliKÜÇÜK,ÜmitOGUZTAN)—Harp ve NBC Silahlari [Warfare and NBC Weapons] / Istanbul, March 26, 2000 ÜmitOGUZTAN)—FundamentalistTerör[FundamentalistTerrorism]/Istanbul,March27,2000(Veli KÜÇÜK,ÜmitOGUZTAN)—Televizyon Analiz Yönetim ve Gelistirme Projesi (Türkiye’de televizyon yaslilar için çok yeni gençler için çok eskidir) [Project to Analyze, Manage and Advance Television “TelevisionistoonewfortheoldandtoooldfortheyounginTurkey/July2000(Veli KÜÇÜK, ÜmitOGUZTAN)—Özel Güvenlik Sirketi [Private Security Company] / Istanbul, July 11, 2000 (Veli KÜÇÜK,ÜmitOGUZTAN)—Dergi Analiz & Proje [Magazine Analysis & Project] / Istanbul, July 22, 2000 (Ümit OGUZTAN,Mehmet2000 —OctobusAdnan(StateAKFIRAT)Organized Crime) Mafia (La Cosa Nostra) / Istanbul, September (VeliKÜÇÜK,ÜmitOGUZTAN,MehmetZekeriyaÖZTÜRK)—21.Yüzyilda Emperyalizm, Ulusal Program, NATO-AB-Ulusal Ilkeler, Global 2000, Arastirma Gözlem Analiz [Research, Observation, Analysis on 21st Century Imperialism, National Program, NATO-EU-National Principles, Global 2000/ Istanbul, December 2000 (ÜmitOGUZTAN)—21. Yüzyilda Casusluk, Iletisim ve Bilgi Çaginda Global Istihbarat Istasyonlari ve DegisenCasuslukMeslegi,Action+Obligation=Integration!,ArastirmaGözlemAnalizRaporu [Report of Research, Observation, Analysis on 21st Century Espionage, Global Intelligence Stations in the Information Era and Changing Profession of Espionage, Action + Obligation =
—MIT, Medya ve Ajan Gazeteciler(VeliKÜÇÜK,[MIT,ÜmitOGUZTAN)Media and Agent Journalists] / Istanbul,
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Titled“Ergenekon,AnalysisProjectofRestructuring,ManagementandDevelopment /Istanbul–Oct.29,1999”[Ergenekondocument],thisstandsasthemainandmost importantErgenekondocument.The25-pagedocumentexplainstheobjectivesand methods of the organization. When the documents titled “Ergenekon” and “Lobby” — referred to as the group’s two main documents — are examined together, it can be clearly seen that the organization was originally established to act within the TurkishArmedForces(TSK)butre-organizeditselfin1999andexpandeditsscope toincludecivilianelementsaswell.
The Ergenekon investigation has faced great challenges not only because Turkey’s politicalatmosphereandjudicialestablishmentdonotallowprobesintothearmed forcesbutalsobecausetheTurkishmilitarywasdeemed“sacred”and“untouchable” untiltherecentpast.
For example, Ergenekon prosecutors were allowed to neither benefit from the archivesofmilitaryintelligenceortogatherevidencedirectlyfrommilitaryfacilities as part of their investigation into the criminal organization. Instead, they had to contact the General Staff via written notice asking whether an organization named “Ergenekon”existswithintheTSK.InitsofficialreplyonSept.24,2007,theGeneral StaffsaidnosuchformationexistedwithintheTSKortheGeneralStaff.17
InthewakeoftheGeneralStaffresponse,prosecutorshavehadtoreferinallErgenekon indictmentsandfoldersofevidencetothesuspectedmilitarylegoftheorganizationas “ErgenekonallegedlyfunctioningwithintheTSK.”Theresponseimpactedthestructure of the documents, and prosecutors preferred to bypass any piece of information or evidencethatcouldimplicatetheTSKinthecriminalgroup’sstructure.
Sirket,Köstebekler,GözlemAnaliz[Company,Moles,Observation(VeliKÜÇÜK,ÜmitOGUZTAN,MehmetZekeriyaÖZTÜRK)-Analysis]/Istanbul, December2000—UlusalMedya2001[NationalMedia,2001]/Istanbul,December2000(Veli KÜÇÜK, ÜmitOGUZTAN,DoguPERINÇEK,MehmetAdnanAKFIRAT,TuncayGÜNEY)—Ermeni Sorunu, 21.Yüzyilda Avrasya Entrikasi, Kilise Devleti, Tarihsel Belgeler Isiginda Ermeni Soykirim Iddialari, Emperyalist Devletlerin Örtülü Savasi, Arastirma Gözlem Analiz [Armenian Question, Eurasia Intrigue in the 21st Century, Church State, Armenian GenocideClaimsinlightofHistoricalDocuments,CovertwarsofImperialistStates,Research– Observation–Analysis]/Istanbul,October2000-February2001(VeliKÜÇÜK,DoguPERINÇEK, ÜmitOGUZTAN)—Hizbullah/Istanbul,February2001
—Yeni Milis (Çözülme sürecinde akilli(ÜmitOGUZTAN)direnis için; kaninin son damlasindan önce beynin son hücresine kadar mücadele geregi) [New militia (For smart resistance in the dissolution process; the need to fight till the last cell in the brain instead of the last drop of blood)] Behiç GÜRCIHAN / June 2004 (Halil Behiç GÜRCIAN, Ismail YILDIZ, Ayse Asuman ÖZDEMIR)—GenelYapi[GeneralStructure]/
—Ermeni Kürt Iliskileri ve Türkiye’ye Karsi Stratejiler(VeliKÜÇÜK)[Armenian-Kurdish Relations and Their StrategiesagainstTurkey]
—Türkiye’yi Türksüzlestirme Operasyonu/(VeliKÜÇÜK)[Operation to Un-Turkify Turkey]/ June 2004 (Halil Behiç 17 WrittenGÜRCIHAN,ErkutERSOY)response of the General Staff’s Legal Council, dated Sept. 24, 2007, and numbered
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Actually, the Ergenekon investigation is not a legal process that proceeds to where the evidence points. Instead, it is like the track of a hurdle race. Prosecutors have been forced to carry out an investigation without entering the “crime scene” and makedowiththeinformationanddocumentswithwhichtheywereprovided.
Six indictments have been prepared thus far as part of the ongoing probe. The indictmentsarebasicallybasedontwoissues.Thefirstoneconcernstheorganization itself,whilethesecondisfocusedoncoupandactionplans.
SomeofthecoupandactionplansaredirectlylinkedtoErgenekon,whileothersare, however,beinginvestigatedwithoutanyreferencetotheshadowyorganization. According to the Ergenekon indictments, violent acts the organization has already launchedorplannedtolaunchareasfollows:
6) A planned armed attack against journalist and writer Fehmi Koru and writer OrhanPamukin200723
7) A planned armed attack against Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir and for- merKurdishdeputiesSabahatTuncelandAhmetTürkin200724
20 Twenty-seven hand grenades were seized in Istanbul’s Ümraniye district at the beginning of theErgenekoninvestigation.
21 AverydetailedchartoftheSupremeCourtofAppealsbuildingwasseizedattheheadquarters of the Nationalist Socialist Workers’ Party as part of the Ergenekon investigation. Having evaluated the chart along with other evidence, prosecutors reached the conclusion that a sensationalattackwasbeingplannedsimilartotheCouncilofStateshooting.
22 In two identical CDs — numbered “55” and “13” — which were sized in the home and office of Workers’ Party (IP) member Hayati Özcan, personal and duty-related information belonging to staff at the NATO Allied Force Headquarters located in Izmir’s Sirinyer district and the institution itself was seized inside a file titled “Yedek123.” The CDs contained many photographs and charts belonging to the NATO headquarters, “CONFIDENTIAL” information about physical and environmental measures taken in and around the building; possible (military) operations planned by the organization for states of emergency; location of caches of ammunition; information related to parking lots and helicopter runways; 69 photographs ofopen-airparkinglots;organizationchartoftheSecurityBattalionCommandunderthetitle “Seventh Party”; computer-typed notes painted in yellow and red in terms of importance; scanned versions of signatures belonging to 2,401 military officers at the headquarters; personalfolders;threeplans/chartsbelongingtotheNATOheadquarters;andmapsshowing variousitinerariesfollowedbysomeheadquartersstaff.
23 As a result of technical surveillance of Kuvayi Milliye (National Forces) Association head Mehmet Fikri KARADAG — also an Ergenekon suspect — and his suspected associates, it was revealed that members of the association made plans to assassinate journalist and writer Fehmi Koru and writer Orhan Pamuk in meetings attended by KARADAG, VELI KÜÇÜK AND SEVGIERENEROL.
24 Technical surveillance of suspect Mehmet Fikri KARADAG and his associates revealed an
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8)Assassination plans and sketches of weapons and ammunition seized in the homeandofficeofErgenekonsuspectIbrahimSahinandthelistofa300-mem- bersquad(S1)tocarryouttheplannedassassinations25
assassination plan against Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir and former deputies Ahmet TürkandSebahatTuncel,andtheplannedhitmanSelimAKKURT,alsoanErgenekonsuspect, wascaptured.Afterhiscapture,itwasdiscoveredthatAKKURTwasbeingsoughtonsuspicion ofhavingplayedaroleintwomurders,andhewasimmediatelyimprisoned.
25 Ibrahim Sahin is one of the many figures of the Susurluk scandal, which is also referred to as the exposure of the deep state, in which civil servants and mafia members turned out to be acting in cooperation. He is a former police chief. In a police search at his house as part of the Ergenekon investigation, a chart that showed the locations of a large number of weapons and munitions in Ankara was seized. In ensuing excavations, police found 10 hand grenade detonators,M4A1militaryemergencyflares,ready-to-uselightanti-tankweapons(LAW),590 grams of datasheet explosive, 100 grams of C-3 plastic explosive, 130 grams of C-4 explosive, 1anti-personnelriflebomb,1TurkishMechanicalandChemicalIndustryCorporation(MKE)- madefogbox,4highexplosiveblastbombs,2MKE-madefoglaunchers,1fireworksdetonator, 4 US-made gas bombs, 2 MKE-made hand grenades, 50 grams of gunpowder, 1 ready-to-use MKE-made grenade body, 3 shotgun cartridges, 21 7.9mm Kanas bullets, 91 3.56mm M 16 bullets,277.62mmG3bullets,5243mmColtbullets,1439.65mmSmith&Wessonbullets, 609mmMKE-madeshortbullets,4609mmMKE-madelongbullets,and1anti-aircraftbullet. A list of individuals to be assassinated. The list was titled the “TERROR PLAN” and was also seizedinasearchatIbrahimSahin’shouse.
26 Technical surveillance carried out on the clandestine cell structure led by Ibrahim Sahin showed that the cell was planning to assassinate some Turkish citizens of Armenian origin. The plans were mainly focused on the Armenian community leader in Sivas, Minas Durmaz Güler,andthecellwasworkingtofindoutGüler’shomeaddress.Twoindividualsidentifiedas ErsinGönenciandOguzBulutwerecapturedonsuspicionofplanningtokillGüler,andpolice confiscatedtwohandgrenadesandaBrowninghandgunthatbelongedtothetwosuspects.
27 AnactionplanseizedinthehouseofsuspectIbrahimSAHINinIstanbulincludedassassination plans against Armenian Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan, satellite photographs of his residence obtained from the Internet, detailed notes on a number of addresses and photographs of Mutafyan and the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul’s Eminönü district. Other documents suggested that the attack was to be launched with “light anti-tank weapons (LAW),” and the cell’s chairman, Kenan TEMUR, also an Ergenekon suspect, would carry out the assassination withhisteam.ThenamesofthemenincludedinTEMUR’steamwerewrittenonthedocuments withasecretcode.
28 PoliceseizedasheetofA4paperinsuspectIbrahimSahin’shouseinIstanbulwhichincluded photographs and charts as well as assassination plans in a bomb-laden vehicle against Ali Balkiz, president of the Alevi Bektasi Federation. The sheet also included a colored map of theKizilay,MaltepeandTandoganneighborhoodsofAnkara,onwhichstreetandroadnames weremarkedinarrows.
29 An assassination plan, titled the “Terror Plan,” against Alevi Bektasi Federation Secretary- GeneralKemalGençwasseizedinsuspectIbrahimSAHIN’shouseinIstanbul.Accordingtothe document,theplanwouldberealizedwithaparcelbomb.
|18||Ergenekon Is Our Reality|
30 ActionplansagainstashoppingmallinAnkarawereseizedinsuspectIbrahimSahin’shousein Istanbul.Theplansincludedinformationabout“official,”“private”and“other”securitypoints in the mall and four hand-drawn charts of the “ground floor” and “2nd floor,” respectively. The documentsalsoincludedthestoreyplansofthemall’ssub-groundfloor,groundfloorandfirst, second and third floors as well as 16 photographs belonging to the entry, exit and parking lot ofthebuilding.
31 A police search at suspect Mustafa Dönmez’s house at a military facility in Ankara exposed a pocket-sized book. The book contained handwritten notes on its 46th page and two A4 sheets inside, which showed short and long-distance satellite photographs of particular places. An examinationonthephotographsrevealedthatabuildingcircledinredin“Photo1”and“Photo 2”belongedPrimeMinisterRecepTayyipErdogan’shouse.Ahand-drawnchartwasalsofound inside the book. The chart indicated a spot in Ankara’s Sincan district. An excavation there in the presence of an Ankara public prosecutor revealed a long list of munitions which included 12 rifle bullets, 10 grenade bodies, 10 explosion mechanisms for hand grenades, 12 booby traps,12ignitionmechanismsforboobytraps,9teargasbombs,800G3bullets,2emergency flares and one colored fog launcher. A police search at the suspect’s house in the Yenikent neighborhoodofAnkaraalsorevealeda9mmZiganaThandgunwithaserialnumberT0620- 05E22482, a 7.65 mm Vzor handgun with the serial number C69960, which bears a notice “Property of Turkish military officers,” a 9 mm Sarsilmaz handgun with the serial number T 1102-04R025093, a fixed-butt 7.62 mm AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle with the serial number D-25889,one mobile-butt 7.62mm AK-47Kalashnikov riflewith the serial number 9616-56- 28021216,threecartridgesforKalashnikovrifles,173cartridgesandonepairofAselsannight vision binoculars. In the suspect’s house in Sakarya’s Sapanca district, police seized 20 hand grenadedetonators,20grenadebodies(ready-to-usebutwithoutadetonator),2defensehand grenades, one fixed-butt 9 mm PORD SAID automatic rifle and 2 empty cartridges belonging to this rifle, 8 empty Kalashnikov cartridges, 2 empty cartridges for 14 mm pistols, 2 empty cartridges for 7.65 mm pistols, one 7.65 mm Made in France Mab handgun with the serial number 55662, one 7.65 mm MKE-made Kirikkale handgun with the serial number 33513, one 9 mm Astra handgun with the serial number 2222, one revolver with the serial number E 139854 and two used NAGANT cartridges, one metal training pistol, one 16 mm caliber shotgun which has no serial number, one Teksan shotgun with the serial number TS-870, one numchuck, one switchblade, one military bayonet, one metal pistol apparatus, 9 daggers, one clasp knife, 6 jackknives, 1,003 9 mm MKE flares, 497 7.65 mm MKE flares, 480 9 mm foreignflares,1367.62mmMKE-madeG-3flares,1357.62mmforeign-madeG-3flares,3713 7.62mmforeign-madeKalashnikovflares,567.62mmforeign-madeflares,109.65mmMKE flares,3foreign-madeM-16flares,3foreign-madecaliberflares,oneNAGANTflare,27.65mm Geco flares, on one of which is the trace of a needle, 8 full shot shells, 30 16 mm shot shells, 2926calibershotshells,2anti-aircraftcartridgebullets,oneG-3flamehider,oneempty7.65 mm cartridge, 113 empty 9 mm MKE cartridges, one Aselsan handheld radio with the serial number A-41141001 011722 and its battery with the serial number 068126, one black TC compass, one green, white and black flag that features a crescent and three stars, 2 cans of Olio Baretta gun-cleaning spray, seven-piece gun cleaning equipment, one red and black rifle exerciseearbuds,one30cm-diametermetalwiretobeusedinbomb-making,10boxesofLos Angeles rifle care oil, Japanese binoculars with the serial number T-06098, M-16 binoculars with the stock number 4548343, 6X30 M-13 TSB binoculars, binoculars for crack shot and long-barrel rifles with the serial number TELESCOBE M-84 – 12203, green and long range land binoculars without a serial number or make, HENSOLDT-WETZLAR black, one-eyed binoculars with the serial number 118704, a binoculars objective in its original box with the serial number M873A-608886-9646, a first aid kid that contains compression bandaging and hydrogen peroxide, license plates: 06 FDA 97 and 34 DZR 68, 29 pairs of military boots, 3 pairsoflow-cutshoes,60wintercamouflagepatterns,12militaryraincoats,25militaryhats,
|Ergenekon Does Not Exist||19|
All the subversive plans were aimed at fomenting chaos in society, laying the groundworkforandthenjustifyinganeventualmilitarytakeover.
The Ergenekon investigation and case stand as a summary of Turkey’s recent past, whichisfullofprovocations.NotallthetragediesTurkeyhassufferedthroughoutits historyaretheworkofthedeepstate;however,thecountry’snon-Muslimpopulation was repeatedly terrorized in the past, while the Alevi and Sunni communities as well as secular and religious circles had to confront one another many times in the republic’shistory,whichallendedupwithacoupd’état.
IfonelooksatthecrimesattributedtotheErgenekongang,itcanbeseenthatwhatever happenedinTurkishhistory,thegangistryingtorepeat.TheBalyoz(Sledgehammer) coupplanisalmostatwinoftheBayrak(Flag)plan,draftedandputintooperation shortlybeforethecoupd’étatofSept.12,1980.Turkeywitnessedthemasskillings ofAlevisinMalatya(April18,1978),Sivas(Sept.4,1978),Kahramanmaras(Dec.19, 1978)andÇorum(May28,1980)beforethe1980coup.Thekillingswerepreceded byaseriesofprovocations.DeviousErgenekonplanstoassassinateprominentAlevi figures and a plan to launch a bomb attack on a shopping mall in Eryaman — which ishometoalargeAlevipopulation–allsuggestthatthecreationofasimilarchaotic atmospherewasamongtheorganization’sbloodyplansforTurkey.
TheCageActionPlansoughttorepeatthepogromsofSept.6-7,1955,whichtargeted Turkey’sChristians,andmanyothersimilarprovocations.TheattacksontheCouncil of State and the Cumhuriyet daily and a planned attack on the Supreme Court of Appeals were nothing but part of a plot to increase the existing public pressure on thecountry’sreligiouscitizens.
TheErgenekonorganizationisthefinalremnantofthedeepstatecultureinTurkey. Failing to confront the massacres carried out by the Ittihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti (Committee of Union and Progress) during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkeybequeathedtheremainsofthedeepstatetoitsnewbornrepublic.Thedeep state formations have been highly influential in countless mass provocations and murdersinTurkeysincethe1950s.ThedeepstatetraditioninTurkeytookonanew and dynamic form with the expansion of the Gladio structure to Turkey. Deep state formations,whichfunctionedtohomogenizethecountrybeforetheproclamationof therepublic,servedtopressuresocialoppositionwithactsofterrorandintimidation and lay the groundwork for coups d’état after its proclamation. The TSK overthrew the governments in 1960, 1971 and 1980 and forced the government to resign on Feb. 28, 1997. Regardless of the political party in power, the TSK maintained its tutelageoverthestatesystemanditsauthoritytohavethelastword.
17 military parkas, 2 military coats, 11 military assault vessels, one military uniform with German flag, 2 military jumpsuits, one pair of military trousers, 5 gloves, 10 military bags of varioussizes,7fabricpistolcovers,5militarycamouflageuniforms,3militaryparkas,4pieces ofmilitaryfabric,1khakitent,alargenumberofdocumentsandpocket-sizedbooks.
|20||Ergenekon Is Our Reality|
In the wake of a clear victory of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the parliamentary elections of 2002 and its rise to power with an overwhelming majority of seats in Parliament, Ergenekon committed itself to plans aimed at throwingtheAKPartyoutofoffice.Theorganizationhasworkedforthepastseven yearstopreparethewayforacoupd’étatinTurkey.Forthatreason,theErgenekon case can be seen as a case to eliminate the deep state, as a result of which figures whoareresponsibleforsubversivecoupplansandotherillegalandviolentactsthat hurtmanywillbecalledtoaccount.
CLAIM: The Ergenekon indictments have come as a result of a conspiracy theory that brings together unrelated individuals and incidents.
ErgenekonGROUP EVALUATION:-like formations bring together individuals who appear to be unrelated and even those who are not aware of one another though they work for the same purpose. It is a result of the common structure and function of such formations. As a“covertrulingpower,”Ergenekonhopedandmanagedtomakeuseofeverysingle individualitsawasnecessaryforitsexistence.
The indictments analyze in detail the fragmental structure of Ergenekon. You can havealookattheGladio32 investigationinItalytoformanopinionoftheErgenekon probe.
On Nov. 22, 1990, the European Parliament called on all European countries to expose the Gladio-linked formations within their borders. The only NATO member countrythathasfailedtodosoisTurkey.
TheorganizationhopestocreateanintrovertedandauthoritarianregimeinTurkey bypursuingapolicyofhightensionbothinthecountryandabroad,andbyworking todivertTurkeyfromitspathtowardfullmembershipintheEuropeanUnion.33
CLAIM: According to most Ergenekon suspects, there is no clear evidence included in the indictments that they are members of the organization.
|32||Gladio (Italian for gladius, a type of Roman short sword) is a code name denoting the|
|clandestine NATO “stay-behind” operation in Italy after World War II, intended to continue|
|NATOJoint.”resolution(See.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladioreplacing B3-2021, 2058, 2068, 2078 and) 2087/90)|
|Ergenekon Does Not Exist||21|
IllegalGROUPorganizationsEVALUATION:do not often have a written document that points to their existence or function. The nonexistence of such a document, however, is not strong enough to deny the existence of the organizations. Documents seized in the homes andofficesofmanyErgenekonsuspectsactuallybelongtothegroup,andtheystand as strong evidence of their membership in Ergenekon as well as indicating a link amongsuspects.Suchorganizationsdonotacceptmembersbymeansofapplications tojoinnordotheyprovideIDcardsfortheirmembers.
Administrative and functional integritypointing to cooperation among membersin thenameofanorganizationaswellasconcreteandmaterialevidencethatconfirms such cooperation is more than sufficient to convince one of the existence of the organization.Inaddition,notallErgenekonsuspectsareaccusedofmembershipin theorganization.Theindictmentsincludeotheraccusations,too.
Among them are setting up an armed terrorist organization, working to overthrow the government, urging the public to armed revolt, providing third parties with confidential documents, stealing documents related to state security, consciously aidinganarmedorganization,takingtheblameforacrime,illegallystoringpersonal dataandfailingtoinformsecurityforcesaboutevidenceofacrime.
CLAIM: Turkish society is up to its neck in conspiracy theories and is trying to explain widespread Islamist violence by means of conspiracy theories. For example, Islamists are uneasy with the killing of three Christian missionaries by Islamist youngsters in Malatya in 2007 and have up until now striven to associate the murders with the deep state.
TheGROUPrealEVALUATION:conspiracy is an orchestrated effort to portray Ergenekon indictments prepared by prosecutors and folders of evidence related to crimes committed by the criminal organization as though they were a plot. Islamist groups were blamed for many murders in Turkey in the past, but the killings later turned out to have beencarriedoutbythedeepstate.ThemurderofUgurMumcu,theCouncilofState shooting and the hand grenades thrown at Cumhuriyet headquarters were firstly labeled as violent acts by Islamists, but it was later revealed that they were part of a plan to increase the existing tension in society. Currently, many believe the killings of Christian missionaries in Malatya are linked to the deep state and that their murderers were ultranationalists, contrary to previous claims that they were Islamists.TheCageActionPlanhascometoconfirmthisopinion.
2 Ergenekon is a Political Case
Ergenekon is only the visible part of the iceberg. The outline [of the organization] in the Ergenekon indictment is rather limited. The investigation should go back to the Maras incidents of 30 years ago. Saying that the Ergenekon [probe] is very important does not suffice. The dark hand that appeared at the Madimak Hotel in Sivas 15 years after the Maras incidents goesbacktoMaras.34
CLAIM: There are claims that the government was long aware of both the existence and the activities of Ergenekon. The inclusion of a coup plan titled Balyoz–whichallegedlywasdraftedin2002–intotheErgenekoninvestigation in 2009 is a strong indicator of the political side of the case.
Ergenekon,GROUP EVALUATION:thedeepstateorthemilitarytutelage,hasalwaysexistedinTurkey,but there was no social or political will to investigate it. Whoever stood up to question it was severely punished. For example, prosecutors Ferhat Sarikaya35 and Sacit Kayasu36 paid for the indictments they drafted in the hope of dealing a blow to the system of military tutelage with the sudden end of their careers and professional lives,apunishmentthatcouldbecalled“civildeath.”
|24||Ergenekon Is Our Reality|
In short, the Ergenekon case is a struggle against the military tutelage system. We cannot confirm whether the government was indeed aware of the Balyoz plan in 2002. The evidence related to the subversive plot emerged in 2009, and a case was initiatedonlyafterwards.
Weshouldneverforgetthatprosecutorswereunabletoeveninterrogatesuspectsin crimesrelatedtothedeepstateuntilthelaunchoftheErgenekoncase.Forexample, retired Gen. Veli Küçük, who is believed to be the founder of JITEM — which is deemed to be responsible for thousands of unsolved murders in the Southeast and themainactorintheSusurlukscandal37 –refusedtoappearbeforeaparliamentary commission.
In addition, had the government been aware of the coup plan in 2002, it would not have been able to initiate legal action against it because neither sufficient political powernoranadequateamountofevidenceexistedforsuchanaction.Aninvestigation intoorajudicialcaseagainstdeepstate-relatedincidentsdoesnotusuallyconclude rapidly. In Italy, for example, the existence of Gladio was long known; however, the Gladio case could start only when the body of evidence and the political conjecture allowedit.
CLAIM: Many members of the Ergenekon organization are accused of plotting to overthrow the government and of storing munitions and devising assassination plans. However, the probe has resulted in the arrest of military generals, secular journalists and academics. Those people were targeted in the operation as they stand opposed to the AK Party.
TheGROUPdeepEVALUATION:state has a rather old history in Turkey. The Carbonari38 in Italy set an example for the Ittihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti39 (Committee of Union and Progress). Noneofthegroup’smembersknewoneanother,butallofthemworkedtowardthe samepurpose.
37The Susurluk scandal refers to the events surrounding the peak of the Turkey–Kurdistan Workers’ Party conflict, in the mid-1990s. It is considered a scandal because it indicated a relationshipbetweenthegovernment,thearmedforcesand organizedcrime.Therelationship came into existence after the National Security Council (MGK), the country’s highest body, positedtheneedforthemarshalingofthenation’sresourcestocombattheseparatist,militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).The scandal surfaced with a car crash on Nov. 3, 1996, near Susurluk, in the province of Balikesir. The victims included the deputy chief of the Istanbul police,aparliamentdeputywholedapowerfulKurdishclanandtheleaderoftheGreyWolves (who was a contract killer on Interpol’s red list). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susurluk_ scandal
|Ergenekon Is A Political Case||25|
And so functions the Ergenekon organization. It has several branches, including, but not limited to the military and the media. According to the main Ergenekon document, the organization was restructured in 1999 and urged members of the militaryandcivilianstocooperate.
The common characteristic of Ergenekon members, who come from different professionalgroupsandsegmentsofsociety,isultranationalism.Theybelieveinthe ruleofthenation-stateandopposeTurkey’smembershipintheEuropeanUnion.
Furthermore,cooperationbetweenmembersofthemilitaryandciviliansforacoup d’état is not unprecedented in Turkey. The coups of May 27, 1960 and March 12, 1971 constitute examples of such cooperation. Some journalists who are currently standingtrialintheErgenekoncaseweretriedinthepastforcollaboratingwiththe militaryincoupplanning.40
Ergenekon is accused of planning to topple the incumbent government. Some journalists and academics have been prosecuted for their suspected roles in the organization’s plan to that end. Claims that they were arrested for their opposition tothegovernmentareungrounded.Therearejournalistsandacademicswhoarefar more opposed to the government and its policies, but none of them were detained orarrestedforErgenekonmembership.41
The trial of military generals as part of the Ergenekon case is related to evidence seized by civilian prosecutors. The generals are being tried either for membership in a criminal organization or for their role in suspected coup plans such as the Kafes(Cage)ActionPlan,42 theActionPlantoFightReactionaryism43 andtheBalyoz (Sledgehammer)SecurityOperationPlan.44
CLAIM: The Ergenekon case is political, and it does not provide prosecutors with an opportunity to rid the country of illegal formations. Thus, deep state- linked criminal acts, which indeed beg to be investigated, are covered up — a maneuver that blocks any future attempt to illuminate them.
41[See: Newspapers which are known for their ultranationalist positions and opposition to the government: Yeniçag http://www.yg.yenicaggazetesi.com.tr; Sözcü http://www.haberler. com/sozcu-gazetesi;andOrtadogudailyhttp://www.ortadogugazetesi.net]
|26||Ergenekon Is Our Reality|
TheGROUPErgenekonEVALUATION:caseisacontinuousprocess,andithasenabledthelaunchofvarious legal cases that aim to shed light on Turkey’s dark past. One such example is the Temizöz case45 under which commander of the Kayseri Provincial Gendarmerie BattalionCol.CemalTemizözisstandingtrialfororderingthekillingsofmanypeople intheSoutheast.
The Ergenekon case is not aimed at settling all the troubles the authoritarian state system has caused for Turkey. Since the proclamation of the republic, the Turkish militaryhasplayedadecisiveroleinthecountry’sfate.Therepublichasspentone- third of its political life under martial law. In addition, the military tutelage has left itsmarkonTurkey’spoliticalandsociallife.
In1980thecountrywasstruckbyabloodycoupafterwhichthemilitaryrestructured the Turkish legal system. Following the coup Turkey turned into a state of fear. One of the most prominent characteristics of the state of fear was an absolute impunity for members of the military against prosecution and punishment. The Ergenekon casehasendedsuchimpunity.
The case has boosted hopesof getting rid of all illegal formations nested within the state. But the case has its own shortcomings. For instance, the court hearing the Ergenekon case is cold to demands by third parties to stand as co-plaintiffs in the trial,afactorthatlessenspublicsupportforthecase.TheIstanbul12th HighCriminal Court, which is hearing the cases against Cage action plan and for the Poyrazköy caseindictment,however,hasamorepositivepositiontowardsuchdemands.
With all the above-mentioned points in mind, we can say that claims that the Ergenekoncaseisanattempttocoverupdeepstate-relatedcrimesaremanipulative and groundless. The case is a strong step toward Turkey’s venture to become a countrygovernedbytheruleoflaw,andifsimilarstepsarenotobstructed,theywill bring with them a great opportunity to rid Turkey of illegal formations within the state.
CLAIM: AK Party supporters have lent their support to the Ergenekon probe since the very first day of its launch. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan likened the probe to the intra-state cleansing in Italy in the 1990s, while former Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal accused the prime minister of acting like a prosecutor in the probe.
|Ergenekon Is A Political Case||27|
TheGROUPErgenekonEVALUATION:caseisnotbackedsolelybyAKPartysupportersinTurkey.Itisalso supported by liberals, leftists, non-Muslims, devout Muslims, Kurds, Alevis and in short, by everyone who comes together in their support for a stronger democracy and the rule of law and who have seen themselves as potential victims of the deep state. What could be more ordinary than Prime Minister Erdogan’s support for a criminal case against an organization that planned to overthrow his government? What is striking at this point is the stance of former CHP leader Baykal. He defined himself as Ergenekon’s advocate46 at the beginning of the investigation into the organization.
3 The Ergenekon
Created An Atmosphere
of Fear in Turkey
Sarkis Seropyan, editor of Agos, Turkish-Armenian weekly journal:
“If Hrant were alive and saw the Ergenekon case, he would have been over the moon. … He would have supported the Ergenekon case much more than what we are able to do at Agos. He would not have been satisfied by just presenting the news related to Ergenekon. … It was his dream that those people’s masks would drop.”47
The Ergenekon case has turned into a witch-hunt. Illegal wiretaps and the detention of people without any sound evidence have created an atmosphere of fear in the country. In short, Turkey has become a state of fear.
ContraryGROUP EVALUATION:to the above claim, the Ergenekon investigation has boosted hopes for a collapse of the state of fear in Turkey. It has moved to put an end to the immunity
47 http://www.armeniadiaspora.com/news/article-hits/1031-agos-editor-seropyan- ergenekon-case-was-hrants-dream.html
|30||Ergenekon Is Our Reality|
from prosecution of certain groups nested within the state and their members and hasheraldedanewanddemocraticeraforKurdsandnon-MuslimsinTurkey. Such criminal acts as the extrajudicial killings of tens of thousands people in the SoutheastofTurkeyandthetorchingandforcedevacuationofthousandsofvillages there have gone unpunished thus far. Turkey has failed to question such criminal acts although they have been condemned many times by the European Court of Human Rights. Military officers, however, still deny the existence of JITEM, which was associated with almost all kinds of illegal acts in the Southeast in the 1990s. Currently, some JITEM founders and administrators are standing trial in the Ergenekoncase,whileothersarebeingtriedintheTemizözcase.
Turkeyindeedusedtobeastateoffearbeforeandduringthe1990s.TheErgenekon case has turned out to be a beacon of hope for vulnerable groups and minorities in the country. And it is not those groups that complain about today’s alleged state of fear.
Since the launch of the Ergenekon case, non-Muslim citizens of Turkey have reiteratedthattherehasbeenaconsiderabledeclineinthreatsandattacksdirected attheircommunities.48 SomeofTurkey’sprominentintellectuals–includingwriters Orhan Pamuk and Elif Safak and literary critic Murat Belge — were tried on charges of insulting “Turkishness,” particularly as a result of efforts by ultranationalists who currently stand indicted in the Ergenekon case. Similarly, Turkish-Armenian Hrant Dink, who became a target as a result of cases brought against him by the same ultranationalist circles, was gunned down only shortly after retired Gen. Veli Küçükpaidavisittothecourtroomto“watch”Dink’strial.Küçükisoneoftheprime suspectsintheErgenekoncase.
Therefore,theErgenekoncasecannotbecalledawitch-hunt.Itisindeedaseriesof effortsdevotedtoconfrontingTurkey’sshadypastandexposinganderadicatingthe notoriousdeepstate.
The wiretapping of the telephone lines and the monitoring of phone records of individuals have long been an issue of concern and complaint for democrats and dissidentsinTurkey.However,claimsagainstthejustnessoftheErgenekoncaseare theresultofunrelatedincidentsthatarepurposefullydistorted.
The records of the personal and professional lives of some individuals have been leakedtothemediaandpostedontheInternetinthepastfewyears.Theyareillegal wiretaps, and such leaks are by no means appreciated. But many wiretap records also stand as evidence against suspects indicted in the Ergenekon case. Legal wiretaps are carried out in accordance with the law and upon permission from the court. Ongoing debates over such wiretaps are aimed at creating question marks in people’smindsoverwhethertheywereobtainedbyillegalmeansandwereincluded
|The Ergenekon Investigation Has Created An Atmosphere of Fear in Turkey||31|
Evidentiary documents included in the Ergenekon case have shown that the real witch-hunt was carried out by the network and its members who are on trial. Thousand-page documents seized in houses and offices belonging to Ergenekon suspects have revealed that many citizens were framed because of their political and religious inclinations. Many civil servants and employees of private companies were mentioned in long lists that contained the names of figures to be killed, detainedorarrestedafteracoupd’état.Ergenekonindictmentsalsocontainstrong, thousand-page evidence that the Gendarmerie General Command’s intelligence unit framed millions in the country. The documents include the addresses of the homes and places of business of Kurds, pious Muslims and non-Muslims in Turkey as well as their phone numbers, e-mail addresses and bank account information. If Turkeywitnessedawitch-hunt,itwascarriedoutbyErgenekonsuspects,notbythe prosecutors.
4 It Is Not True That The Military Planned A Coup
Olli Rehn: (European commissioner for enlargement)
“Turkey witnessed significant developments in civilian-military relations last year.TheongoingErgenekoncaseisthekeytoefforts atdemocratizationin
Turkey. Turkish citizens deserve to see the completion of this investigation, and they rightfully expect a fair trial for all of the suspects.”49
Various alleged coup plans and action plans are also being probed as part of the Ergenekoninvestigation.Amongthemisamulti-phaseplanallegedlymasterminded by retired Gen. Sener Eruygur, a former gendarmerie commander. The plan covers 2003 and 2004 and has four phases.50 The first is named “Sarikiz” (Blonde Girl), which calls for social unrest similar to the situation before the 1960 coup d’état. As part of the plan, university students and civil society organizations would be urged toholdprotestsagainstthegovernment.Theplanwouldthenmoveontothesecond phase, “Ayisigi” (Moonlight), which sought to force then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök to resign. The pro-coup formation within the military saw the general as an obstacle in the way of the planned coup. Another phase included in the plan, titled “Yakamoz” (Sea Sparkle), focused on how the coup would be launched, and the final phase, “Eldiven” (Glove), mentioned what the military would do after the plannedcoup.
49http://www.cnnturk.com/2010/dunya/01/21/rehn.ergenekon.davasi.demokrasinin. kilidi/560281.0/index.html[Retrievedfromthecnnturk.comwebsite:Rehn:Ergenekoncase keytodemocratization]
|34||Ergenekon Is Our Reality|
TheBalyoz(Sledgehammer)coupplan,allegedlydraftedbythejuntaledbythen-1st Army Commander Gen. Çetin Dogan, hoped to foment chaos in society that would eventuallyleadtoamilitarytakeover,similartotheoneonSept.12,1980.
CLAIMS: The Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plan is said to be a 5,000-page document. If the Turkish military desires to stage a coup, why would it prepare such a detailed plan? It would directly overthrow the government and assume control of the country. In addition, the coup plan mentions such nonsense as bomb attacks on historic mosques in Istanbul and the deliberate downing of a Turkish jet. The military, however, categorically denies having devised the plan.
TheGROUP5,000EVALUATION:-page-documentdoesnotrefertothecoupplanitself.Itreferstoallkindsof documentsincludedinalegalcaseinitiatedagainsttheplan.Amongthedocuments51 are voice recordings of military meetings in which participants discuss a planned coup d’état, “very confidential” military orders for an operation, action plans titled Çarsaf (Chador), Sakal (Beard) and Oraj (Thunderstorm) — which aim to create an atmosphere conducive to a military takeover, a list of individuals to be detained and assets to be confiscated during the coup, and a government plan to be put into operationafterthecoup.Inaddition,thedocumentsprovidealistofjournalistswho would be detained after the military takeover. Military correspondence over the planned coup, Power Point slides, original military CDs, operation plans and video recordingsofcoupmeetingsarealsoincludedinthedocument.
The Çarsaf and Sakal action plans mention a subversive plan to bomb the Fatih and BeyazitmosquesinIstanbulduringFridayprayers.Theplansalsoincludechartsthat detail the planned attacks. The plans also were intended to create tension between the Turkish and Greek air forces, which would culminate in a Turkish fighter jet crashingafteraskirmishwiththeirGreekcounterparts.
Turkey was rocked by “extraordinary” conditions ahead of coups, and the Balyoz plan aimed at the duplication of such conditions. The devious plot comes neither as a surprise nor a fantasy for the Turkish people as they are no strangers to the military’stendencytochangepoliticalrulethroughcoupsandthedeepstate’shabit ofprovocation.
The Sept. 6-7, 1955 events started after a newspaper headline said Atatürk’s home in Greece had been bombed by Greek militants. The deep state did not refrain from bombingthehomeofAtatürk–astatesmanalmost“sanctified”inTurkey–inorder
51See.http://www.beyazgazete.com/haber/2010/01/21/taraftan-soke-eden-iddia-fatih-camii- cuma-gunu-bombalanacakti.html [Retrieved on Jan. 21, 2010, from the beyazgazete.com website:Latestcoupplan:Sledgehammer]
|It Is Not True That The Military Planned A Coup||35|
to provoke the Turkish nation, which would eventually lead to a military takeover. The intelligence agent who launched the bomb attack was later appointed to the postofcitygovernor.52
“Absurd”planssuchasbombattacksagainstmosquesandthedeliberatedowningof aTurkishjetaimtodeterminethebesttimingandtheprospectivepoliticaloutcomes ofacoup.Wargamesaresupposedtobebasedonfictitiousfigures,buttheplotters preferred to use real names when drafting the Balyoz plan. The plan also suggests thataround800militaryofficerswouldbeexpelledfromtheTSKfortheirsuspected linkstotherulingparty.Allnamesmentionedintheplan–includingthoseofjudges, prosecutorsandeventheprincipalsofreligiousimam-hatiphighschools–arereal. The Balyoz documents also clearly indicate that a military seminar held March 5-7, 2003,wasnotasimplewargame.AnofficialnoticesenttotheLandForcesCommand and the General Staff by the 1st Army Corps several months before the coup plan wasdraftedindicatedthataplannedseminarslatedforMarch5-7,2003,wouldnot be devoted to discussing war games. The invitees gathered for the seminar, during whichcouppreparationsunderwentafinalcheckratherthanthediscussionofwar games.
The confessions of retired Gen. Altay Tokat stand as the clearest evidence that the Turkish military engaged in these kinds of provocative actions. The retired general saidmilitaryofficershadbombsthrownintothebackyardsofjudgesandprosecutors intheSoutheastinordertointimidatethembetween1995and1998.
In addition Col. Dursun Çiçek, an active duty officer at the General Staff, planned to placeweaponsandexplosivesinthehomesandofficesofcivilians–oftenreligious ones — and enable the police to discover them at those addresses. The civilians would later be tried on charges of membership in an armed terrorist organization. Two courts are currently hearing separate cases related to the plan. An indictment preparedbytheGeneral Staff’sMilitaryProsecutor’sOfficerecentlyconfirmedthat theplanwasdevisedbyCol.Çiçek,whichspurredtheofficetoinitiateacaseagainst thecolonel.Theofficeisdemandingaprisontermofuptothreeyearsforthecolonel. Within this perspective, it would not be wrong to say that some groups within the TSKhavebeenengagedinillegal,provocativeacts.
CLAIM:Allegedcoupplansbythemilitaryaremainlybasedonadiarybelonging to retired Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek. An examination by the National Police Department’s criminal investigations department concluded that the diary was produced on Örnek’s personal computer; however, the
retired admiral has denied ownership of the document. The diary was first
52 http://www.tumgazeteler.com/?a=1005359 [Retrieved Sept. 8, 2005, from the tumgazeteler. comwebsite:MITagentwhobombedAtatürk’shouseappointedasgovernor]
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exposed by the now-closed Nokta magazine in 2007. There are claims that the diary was stolen and reworded by an individual linked to an Islamist organization with the ulterior motive of undermining the military and was then forwarded to Nokta for publication.
SuchGROUPclaimsEVALUATION:are groundless and make no sense at all. The coup plans of 2003- 2005 are not based solely on Örnek’s diary. Concrete evidence has confirmed the authenticityofthesuspecteddiaryandpointstotheexistenceofcoupplans.Itisno secretthattheGendarmerieGeneralCommand,whichwasthenledbyGen.Eruygur, framed many individuals. Keeping a diary is not a rare occurrence in the TSK. The militaryurgesitsofficerstokeepdiaries.Örnekadvisedhisstudentsinthenorthern province of Ordu to keep a diary. He personally started keeping a diary in 1957, when he was a cadet. His diaries between 2003 and 2004 totaled 1,004 pages. The diary mentioned in the Ergenekon indictment is different from the one forwarded to the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court by the Nokta newsweekly. It was placed inside a CD seized in Eruygur’s office at the Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD). Theassociationisheadedbytheretiredgeneral.
Eruygur and Örnek served as force commanders at the same time; however, Örnek allegedly later refused to take part in or contribute to the planned coup. Eruygur retired before Örnek, and the retired general kept Örnek’s diary allegedly because hewantedtousethedocumentsasatrumpcardagainsttheretiredadmiral.
Onlyasmallpartofthediarywassharedwiththepublic.NoktaEditor-in-ChiefAlper Görmüs said the document included many details about Örnek’s private life, which thenewsweeklyrefusedtopublish.
CLAIM: The Balyoz documents were altered by unidentified individuals.
The documents, dated Dec. 2, 2002, refer to the Turkey Youth Union (TGB) as a “friendly group.” But the union was established in 2006. Similarly, the documents include excerpts from the closing address of a congress in 2005.
TheBalyoz seminar wasreportedlyattendedbyaround200 military officers, althoughitwassupposedtobea“confidential”one.Militaryunitsthatarenot affiliatedwiththe1stArmyCorpsappeartohaveparticipatedintheseminar.
It is illogical to overthrow the government located in Ankara through a plan devisedinIstanbul.
TheGROUPTarafEVALUATION:daily published only a small part of the documents related to the Balyoz coupplan.Amongthemaremilitarydocumentsthatfeaturegenuinesignatures.
|It Is Not True That The Military Planned A Coup||37|
Whenthecoupplanfirstmadeitswayintothepress,retiredGen.ÇetinDogan–the allegedmastermindbehindtheBalyozplan–madepublicstatementsclaimingthat the AK Party was as pure as its name [ak means “white” in Turkish] when it was first swept to power in 2002, and thus a coup plan against it on the grounds that it was engaged in reactionary activities was out of the question. However, the Balyoz documents include handwritten notes by Dogan that expressed concern over the risetopowerofa“fundamentalistpoliticalparty.”ShortlyaftertheAKPartycameto power in 2002, the retired general ordered his military units to make preparations foracoupd’état.
A youth union is mentioned in the Balyoz documents; however, it’s not the union thatwasestablishedin2006.TheLawonAssociationsrequiresauniontoobtainthe permissionoftheInteriorMinistrytousetheword“Turkey”initsname.Theunion that is defined as an ultranationalist one and is said to have been set up in 2006 does not have the word “Turkey” in its name. The union mentioned in the Balyoz documentsisactuallynamedtheTurkeyYouthAssociationUnion.
Claims also emerged that a document included in the Balyoz plan was excerpted from the closing address of a congress held in 2005 and thus cannot have made its way into a file drafted in 2002. However, they are missing one point. The address preparedin2002wasusedmotàmotatthecongressin2005.Theindividualswho delivereditactedasiftheyhadpreparedtheaddressthemselves.Theorganizersof thecongressareknowntohavebeeninclosecontactwithErgenekonsuspects.
According to another scenario, the coup seminar was attended by nearly 200 military officers, which stands as evidence that the meeting was not confidential at all and that its participants did not convene to discuss ongoing preparations for a coup. Coup documents, however, clearly indicate that members of the military who were not trusted should not be allowed into the seminar since confidentiality was the top principle in the gathering. Furthermore, a coup meeting in which methods to seize control of a large city such as Istanbul were discussed would not normally be attended by only a few people, would it? The meeting was indeed an occasion whereparticipantscheckedcouppreparations.Theydiscussedsuchissuesaswhere to deploy military tanks and who would be detained after the coup. The number of attendeeswasindeedfewerthanonewouldexpect.
The then-chief of General Staff, Gen. Hilmi Özkök, was reportedly informed about the planned coup. After the emergence of the Balyoz documents, Özkök admitted to have had knowledge of the subversive plan, adding that he questioned retired Gen. Çetin Dogan about the claims. The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) undersecretaryofthetimealsotoldajournalistthathewasawareofthecoupplan. RetiredGen.LeventErsöz,whoservedastheprovincialgendarmeriecommanderin BursawhentheBalyozcoupplanwasdrafted,acknowledgedindirectlytheexistence of the plan in a voice recording that recently hit news websites. In the recording Ersöz says: “March 19, 2003 is very important. [The planned coup would be staged
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on that day.] The then-Land Forces Commander Gen. Aytaç Yalman betrayed us by collaborating with the chief of General Staff.” Coup plotters believe the intelligence about coup preparations was leaked to Gen. Özkök through Gen. Yalman. In other words, almost all high-ranking members of the military knew that Gen. Dogan was seekingtooverthrowthegovernmentin2003.
One other scenario argues that the government in Ankara cannot be toppled through a plan devised in Istanbul. However, in voice recordings attached to the coup documents, top military commanders suggest that coup forces will not face anypublicresistanceoncetheyseizecontrolofIstanbul.Inaddition,thedocuments feature a list of military generals who pledged to lend support to the planned coup. In other words, many military units were implicated in the coup plan though they werenotaffiliatedwiththe1st ArmyCorps.TheSept.12,1980coupwasalsodevised at1st ArmybutwasputintooperationalloverTurkey.
The Balyoz documents were examined in detail by three civilian prosecutors, and suspectedcollaboratorsofthecoupplanwerearrested.Aseparateprobeisongoing attheMilitaryProsecutor’sOffice.Amilitaryexpertrecentlypreparedareportthat said, “If the claims reflect the truth, that’s a coup plan.” The report came after an examination of a copy of the coup documents as the originals are currently at the IstanbulPublicProsecutor’sOffice.
New documents may emerge once the investigation moves into the prosecutorial phase.Asmayberecalled,newpiecesofevidenceemergedasprosecutorsprepared the Ergenekon indictments and as suspects began to stand trial on coup charges. ThismayalsobethecasefortheBalyozinvestigation.
5 The Council of State
Attack Is Not Linked To
Italian prosecutor Felice Casson
“You must go to the end in the [Ergenekon] investigation. There are such significant accusations that you have to go to the end to clarify things.
Otherwise this is so dangerous for democracy.”53
TherearefourhighcourtsinTurkey.OneofthemistheCouncilofState, whichINCIDENT:hears appeals against decisions of administrative courts. On May 17, 2006, hitmanAlparslanArslan,alawyerbyprofession,carriedoutanarmedattackatthe courtbuildingasagroupofjudgeswereholdingameeting.Theattackleftonesenior judgedeadandthreeotherswounded.AfterhiscaptureArslansaidhelaunchedthe attack in protest of a court decision against the headscarf. The attack later came to be defined by Turkey’s secular elites as an assault by “reactionary circles” against the secular regime in the country. During the funeral of Judge Yücel Özbilgin, who waskilledintheattack,participantsprotestedtheAKPartygovernmentandPrime MinisterRecepTayyipErdogan,chanting,“Turkeyissecular,anditwillremainso!” The case concerning the Council of State shooting was merged with the Ergenekon trialin2009.ErgenekonprosecutorsbelievetheCouncilofStateattackwasaimedat creating conflict among the country’s secular and religious citizens. The Ergenekon
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indictment suggests that the order for the attack came from retired Capt. Muzaffer Tekin and retired Gen. Veli Küçük, both defendants in the Ergenekon case. A recent examinationofsecuritycamerafootagebytheScientificandTechnologicalResearch Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) has revealed that the footage before and after the shooting at the court was destroyed by unidentified individuals, a clear indication thattheshootingwasbasedonawell-thought-outplan.
CLAIMS: The Council of State attack is not linked to Ergenekon. The shooting was carried out to punish court members for an anti-headscarf ruling they had made.
InsistingGROUP EVALUATIONS:on the claim that the Council of State shooting was based on “religious motives”despiteallrecentrevelationsplaysintothehandsoftheplottersbehindthe attackandisquitemanipulative.ThedecisiontomergetheCouncilofStatecasewith the Ergenekon trial came from the 9th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals,54 which is better known for its staunchly secular position. We need to have a closer lookatnotonlyErgenekonbutalsoTurkey’spoliticalstructure,whichprovidesthe grounds for manipulative attacks, as well as the links between the Council of State shootingandtheErgenekoncriminalorganization.
Manipulation of the public through certain “impressions” is not a rare happening in Turkey. The post-modern coup of Feb. 28, 1997, in which the military forced an electedgovernmenttoresign,alsostemmedfromsimilarimpressionsanddynamics. Withthehelpofthemediaandfabricatedscenarios,thepublicwasmadetobelieve thenthat“reactionaryism”wasontheriseinTurkey.
It is no secret that dark powers have sought to maintain the military tutelage in Turkey through a continuous atmosphere of fear. According to those powers, the Turkish Republic has been under a “great threat” to its existence. In the past, the threat used to refer to leftist movements, Kurds, Alevis and non-Muslims. What has beenreferredtoasthethreatinrecentyearsisreactionaryism.
In our opinion, the Council of State shooting is one of the many scenarios set up to pave the way for a military takeover. Apparently, an “Islamist” lawyer wanted to punishthecourtmembersfortheirdecisionagainsttheheadscarf.However,pieces of evidence seized afterwards and witness testimony showed that the real motive fortheattackwastotallydifferent.
A detailed investigation into the shooting revealed that hit man Arslan was not a pious Muslim, contrary to previous claims. He was actually an ultranationalist and had close links to retired Capt. Muzaffer Tekin, who is currently standing trial for
54 http://arsiv.ntvmsnbc.com/news/469201.asp [Retrieved Dec. 17, 2008, from the ntvmsnbc. comwebsite:SupremeCourtofAppeals:CouncilofState-Ergenekontrialsmustbemerged]
|The Council of State Attack Is Not Linked To Ergenekon||41|
membership in Ergenekon. Arslan also had photographs taken with retired Gen. Küçük — another Ergenekon suspect. The testimony of Osman Yildirim, one of the key defendants in the Council of State shooting case, exposed the links between ArslanandErgenekon.
A recent TÜBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) examination of the security camera records of the Council of State building showed that the OYAK Security Company — which is made up of retired military officers — destroyed the footage after the assault. Shortly after the shooting, OYAK told an Ankara court that the security cameras in the building had been out of order at the time of the attack. However, according to the TÜBITAK examination, the cameras wereworkingatthattime,andthefootagedestroyedbelongedtothedayofandthe day before the assault, when the hit man reportedly checked out the courthouse. ThishascometoshowthattheCouncilofStateshootingwaswellplannedandwas partofasubversiveplottomanipulatesociety.
6 Attacks on the Cumhuriyet Daily are not Linked to Ergenekon
“I believe this trial is a milestone for Turkey because such a transparent investigation was never carried out in the past. As a result of this investigation into Ergenekon, however, people have come to develop faith that they live in a country where the rule of law prevails. I, myself, am one of them.”
“This case will truly bring the rule of law to the country in addition to strengthening people’s trust in it. Turkey was very much in need of this.
I have always believed that our country has been taking significant steps in this direction, which can be described as a search for democracy and a transparent administration. I interpret this case as part of our approach to this target. That is why I believe it is a great service to Turkey on its road to a full, consolidated democracy. …”55
The Cumhuriyet daily is one of the oldest newspapers in Turkey, active sinceINCIDENT:1924.Itranks21st or 22nd incirculation.Thoughithasasmallcirculation,ithas remained an important actor in Turkey’s political spectrum. In the past few years, it has stood out for its “staunchly secular” and “pro-military tutelage” publications. SincetheriseoftheAKPartytopowerin2002,thedailyhascalledonthemilitaryto interveneinpoliticsonvariousoccasions.ItwentdowninTurkey’spoliticalhistory
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withtheheadline“Young[military]officersuncomfortable”onMay23,2003,publicly makingareferencetothe1960coupthatwascarriedoutbyyoungmilitaryofficers. ShortlyafterthelaunchoftheErgenekoncase,oneoftheCumhuriyetadministrators wasprosecuted,whileoneofitscolumnistswasarrested.
The daily was targeted in three separate hand grenade attacks — on May 5, May 10 and May 11, 2006 — after it published a caricature depicting a woman wearing a headscarf as a pig. The grenades in the first two attacks failed to explode. No one was killed or injured when the grenade used in the third attack exploded in the newspaper’sgarden.
The shooting came shortly after the grenade attacks at Cumhuriyet, most probably because the attacks failed to find wide media coverage. Ergenekon sought to rock Turkeywithasensationalincident,andtheCouncilofStateshootingtookplace.
CLAIMS: The Cumhuriyet daily was targeted in grenade attacks due to its staunchly secular stance. The unexploded grenades showed that the attacks were not linked to a professional organization. They were launched by angry individuals who were amateur enough to forget to pull the pins out of the grenades when lobbing them at the newspaper’s headquarters. In short, claims that the attacks on Cumhuriyet were linked to the Ergenekon organization are groundless.
PublicationsGROUP EVALUATION:thatdistortevidencerelatedtotheattacksontheCumhuriyetdailyand aim to misinform foreign readers who have almost no chance to access first-hand informationontheincidentsneedtobequestionedinmoralterms.
The Cumhuriyet attacks were obviously aimed at fomenting chaos that would eventually lead to clashes between the country’s secular and religious circles. The attacks were staged three times because they failed to attract the desired attention fromthepublic.Peoplealmostturnedablindeyetothefirsttwoattacks.Theattacks endedafterthethirdassaultattractedsufficientpublicattention.
The two hand grenades that failed to explode indeed had nothing to do with the inexperienceoftheperpetrators.Therealintentionbehindtheseattackswasnotto inflictdamageonCumhuriyetbuttoattractattention.
The attacks on Cumhuriyet were carried out by Council of State hit man Arslan and his friends. Claims that the perpetrators of the attacks are linked to Ergenekon membersarebasedonconcreteevidence.Arslanisknowntohavehadpersonalties toretiredCapt.MuzafferTekinandretiredGen.VeliKüçükandwasinclosecontact withtheUnionofPatrioticForces(VKB).
|Attacks on the Cumhuriyet Daily are not Linked to Ergenekon||45|
Both Yildirim — a defendant in the Council of State shooting case — and a secret witness confessed to having received the hand grenades from retired Capt. Tekin. TheyalsosaidtheorderfortheattackscamefromKüçük,aretiredgeneral.
In summary, clear evidence has linked the hand grenade attacks on Cumhuriyet headquarterswiththeErgenekonorganization.
7 Claim That Attacks
on Non-Muslims Are
Linked To Ergenekon Is
A Conspiracy Theory
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew
“They wish to overthrow the government and dissolve the AK Party through provocations targeting us. What’s our guilt? … We believed a raid on a meeting of the Association of the Zografyon High School Alumni about four years ago was aimed at intimidating us. When the Cage plan was revealed, we thought the raid could have been part of that plan.”56
CLAIM:TheErgenekonindictmentputstheblameforanumberofassassinations andattacksagainstnon-MuslimsinTurkeyonErgenekonwithoutanyevidence. Among them are the killings of Catholic priest Father Andrea Santoro on Feb. 5, 2006, in Trabzon, Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink on Jan. 19, 2007, inIstanbulandthreeChristianmissionariesonApril18,2007,inMalatya.
SinceGROUPtheEVALUATION:proclamation of the republic, Turkey has witnessed many attacks against the non-Muslim community, which were mainly aimed at decreasing of
56http://www.zaman.com.tr/haber.do?haberno=920292&keyfield=6B616665732065796C65 6D20706C616EC4B1 [Retrieved Nov. 26, 2009, from the zaman.com website: They tried to overthrowthegovernmentwithprovocationsoverus.]
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the number of such citizens. Attempts to cause non-Muslim residents of Turkey to flee the country have been an established state tradition since the reign of Ittihat ve Terakki (Committee of Union and Progress). In ideological terms, the Ergenekon organization can be deemed the heir of the committee. Just like its predecessor, the organization has focused on the intimidation of the non-Muslim community in Turkey. The “Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate” has been active since 1923, though it lacksacommunityorfollowers.Ergenekonisaferventsupporterofthepatriarchate as the group’s main objective is to carry out activities that would wear down the GreekOrthodoxPatriarchateinTurkey.Inaddition,theorganizationpreferstohold itscriticalmeetingsattheheadquartersoftheTurkishOrthodoxPatriarchate.57 The group’sspokesperson,SevgiErenerol,iscurrentlyinjailonchargesofmembership in Ergenekon. Before imprisonment, she addressed the TSK on various occasions in conferences and presentations over the “harm” of missionary activities.58 Ergun Poyraz, a journalist known for his controversial writings against the Jewish and Christian communities, received payment from the Gendarmerie Intelligence and CounterterrorismService(JITEM)59 forhispublications.Heisalsocurrentlybehind barsformembershipinErgenekon.ErgenekondefendantKemalKerinçsiz,alawyer, filedlawsuitsagainstwriterOrhanPamukandslainjournalistHrantDinkandsome Christianmissionariesonthegroundsthattheyinsulted“Turkishness.”60 TheAnkara ChamberofCommerce(ATO),ledbyErgenekonsuspectSinanAygün,hasexpended muchenergyinthepreparationofprovocative“reports”61 about“missionaries”and theiractivitiesinTurkey.
Ergenekon prosecutors expressed concern in indictments that some provocative killings that sent shockwaves across Turkey may be linked to the Ergenekon organization. The Cage plan calls the killings of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink (2007), Catholic priest Father Andrea Santoro (2006) and three Christians in Malatya(2007)an“operation.”
The Ergenekon investigation has shown that bloody plans against Turkey’s non- Muslim residents were aimed at creating a common conviction in the country that
57http://tr.wikisource.org/wiki/Ergenekon_iddianamesi/B%C3%96L%C3%9 CM_V_%C5%9E%C3%9CPHEL%C4%B0LER%C4%B0N_B%C4%B0REYSEL_ DURUMLARI_%C4%B0K%C4%B0NC%C4%B0_GRUPTAK%C4%B0_K%C4%B0%C5%9E%C4 %B0LER%C4%B0N_B%C4%B0REYSEL_DURUMLARI_31-%C5%9E%C3%9CPHEL%C4%B0_ VEDAT_YENERER
59http://tr.wikisource.org/wiki/Ergenekon_iddianamesi/B%C3%96L%C3%9CM_V_% C5%9E%C3%9CPHEL%C4%B0LER%C4%B0N_B%C4%B0REYSEL_DURUMLARI_14- %C5%9E%C3%9CPHEL%C4%B0_ERG%C3%9CN_POYRAZ_:
60http://arsiv.ntvmsnbc.com/news/419971.asp [Retrieved Sept. 15, 2007, from the ntvmsnbc. comwebsite:SurprisingdevelopmentsinjudicialcasefollowedbyEU]
61http://www.atonet.org.tr/turkce/bulten/bulten.php3?sira=235 [Retrieved from the atonet. org.trwebsite:ReportonmissionaryismfromATO]
|Claim That Attacks on Non-Muslims Are Linked To Ergenekon Is A Conspiracy Theory||49|
the attacks against the non-Muslims were a result of the hatred of pious people. The plans also were intended to persuade the public that the AK Party and the governmentwerealsoresponsiblefortheattacks.
Not only religious people but also many other circles were blamed for similar acts againstnon-Muslimsinthepast.TheBalyozandCageplanshaveshownthatbloody “operations”againstnon-Muslimscontinuedthroughthe2000s.
It is no longer a secret that Erhan Tuncel — a close friend of hit man Ogün Samast, theallegedkillerofHrantDink–wasanintelligenceagentwhotippedtheTrabzon and Istanbul police off about a planned assassination against journalist Dink. Ali Öz, who was then gendarmerie regiment commander in Trabzon, however, ignored the tips. Istanbul police neglected to take action against the prior notice about the plannedmurder.ThefactthatSamastmadeablutionsbeforecarryingouttheattack andposedinfrontofaTurkishflagafterthemurdershowsthattheplottersabused boththeyoungman’sreligiousandnationalistsentiments.Asimilarabusewasalso evidentinthemissionarykillingsinMalatya.Suspectedassassinswhopretendedto bereligiouslaterturnedouttobeultranationalists.62
62 “Turkish Nationalism Threatens Christians”, http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/20589.htm
8 Independent Media
Does Not Exist In Turkey;
Have Been Intimidated
CLAIM: News reports on the Ergenekon case are not comprehensive and sound as though press organs that were once independent have been intimidated.
TheGROUPmediaEVALUATION:is not homogenous in Turkey. The central media is controlled by people who call themselves Kemalists. However, “taboo” issues such as the Armenian question are freely debated today. Nonetheless, Turkey has chronic problems with freedom of expression, and journalists are often victimized for that reason. Laws restrictfreedomofspeechandexpression,63 andjudicialbodiesdonotoftenuphold therighttofreelyexpressoneself.
A tug-of-war between the government and a media mogul is worrisome; however, the dispute between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Dogan Media Group has nothing to do with the Ergenekon case. The low standard of democracy in Turkey requires us to clearly distinguish “opposition” from “being an opponent.” Thepeculiardifferencebetweenthestate”andthegovernmentisuniquetoTurkey, and it is quite different than in any other democratic country. The difference points to the election of the government by the nation and the immunity of the “state” or the “establishment” from election by the nation. Within this perspective, opposing
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the government or its policies does not always refer to being their opponent. What isdifficultinTurkeyisadoptingacriticalpositionagainsttheestablishment,which exists relatively independently from democratic election. Such a position would beyonddoubthaveheavycosts.
IntheWestthegovernmentusuallyreferstothestate;however,thegovernmentand thestatearetotallydifferentthingsinTurkey.Pressorgansthatstandopposedtothe governmentcastigatethe“government”intheirpublicationsbutavoidcriticizingthe militaryandstateinstitutions.Similarly,certainpressorgans–usuallydubbedpro- government–standinlinewiththegovernmentastheysupportgovernmentalsteps towardastrongerdemocracyandcriticizestateinstitutions,whichareimmunefrom democraticoversightandthestateideology,Kemalism.Thismeansstateinstitutions actuallytargetopponentpressorgansthatarereferredtoaspro-government.
What weneedtofocusonvis-à-visfreedomofthepressinTurkeyistheconstantly increasing number of criminal cases filed against journalists who criticize the Ergenekon organization in their reports and articles.64 The Taraf daily faces around 150suchcases.TheSabahdailyisfacingfive.Othernewspapersandtheirjournalists also have been hit with many such cases although we are not able to include their numberinthispaperbecausetherearenocleardataorfiguresrelatedtosuchcases. In light of the growing number of cases against Ergenekon reports, we can say that those who are denied freedom of expression are supporters of the Ergenekon case (and fight against the Ergenekon network), and that its opponents are not denied thisright.
64“Dozensofjournalistshavebeenprosecutedthusfaronchargesof“violationofconfidentiality” due to their coverage of the Ergenekon case. Since the launch of the case, many newspapers, correspondents, columnists and newspaper administrators have faced cases on the grounds that they violated Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 285, which criminalizes the “violation of confidentiality,” and Article 288, which criminalizes “influencing the independent judiciary.” According to Justice Ministry data (2009), a total of 2,407 such probes were initiated. This figure had reached 4,000 at the end of 2009. Around 90 percent of the probes became cases, amountingto3,000intotal.Judicialcasesagainstjournalistsarebelievedtobepartofadevious plantosilencethepressovertheErgenekoncase.”http://forum.memurlar.net/konu/830594
9 Weapons and Munitions
Seized as Part of the
Ergenekon Probe Do
Not Make Much Sense
“In the documents I saw a photograph of my house, a blueprint of it, the names of nine people, one of whom would obtain explosives, and the bomb they devised. It made me think of the killings of Ugur Mumcu, Necip HablemitogluandBahriyeUçok,alsoundersuspiciouscircumstances.”65
CLAIM: The Ergenekon investigation and case focus on “coup attempts,” but weapons and munitions seized as part of the probe would not be sufficient to launch a coup d’état.
ManyGROUPweaponsEVALUATION:and explosives have been seized since the launch of the Ergenekon probe.66 However,noonehasputforwardaclaimthatthemunitionswouldbeused
65 http://www.tumgazeteler.com/?a=4792631%5BRetrievedMarch10,2009,fromthetumgazeteler. comwebsite:IsawErgenekon’sassassinationplan,mybloodfroze]
66 Seefootnotes13and19foralistofweaponsandmunitionsseizedatthehomesandofficesof two Ergenekon defendants. Many other weapons and munitions have been seized as part of theongoingprobe.
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to stage a coup d’état. They were most probably stored to be used to activate many assassination plans and other attacks that were intended to create chaos in society, eventually leading to a military takeover. Dark powers hoped to foment a “fatal” atmosphere of clashes in the country through the assassination of prominent Alevi figures,bombattacksonshoppingcentersinplaceslargelypopulatedbySunnisand murdersofleadingKurdishpoliticians.Theyalsowereaimedatincreasingexternal pressure on the AK Party government with the killings of non-Muslim residents of Turkey and dragging the country into instability with the murders of leading membersoftherulingparty.
CLAIM: The discovery of arms caches in many parts of the country is seen as a clear success of the Ergenekon probe. However, it no secret that the Special Forces Command (ÖHD) buries explosives underground for emergency use.
ChiefGROUPofGeneralEVALUATION:StaffGen.IlkerBasbugannouncedlastyearthattheTSKdoesnothave any weapons or explosives buried underground.67 In addition, active duty military officers at whose addresses police seized weapons were sentenced to prison terms bymilitarycourtsonchargesofstealingmunitionsfromthearmedforces.68 Lt.Col. Mustafa Dönmez, who was arrested in relation to weapons and ammunition found in his home during a search carried out as part of the investigation into Ergenekon, claimed during interrogation that the weapons were planted in his home by police as part of a plot against him. However, verdicts by military courts ended debates over how the weapons buried underground were smuggled from military depots. In addition to weapons and explosives seized in suspects’ houses, many munitions werefounddumpedintheatticsofdesertedbuildings,inthecountrysideandbythe sidesofroads.
CLAIM: Weapons found buried underground were wrapped with old newspapers, a method that would fall short of protecting them against dampness. Police excavations also exposed already-used light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) and rockets, which would by no means be reused for military
purposes. It is still unclear why anyone would bury used LAWs in the ground.
67 http://yenisafak.com.tr/Gundem/?t=24.04.2009&c=1&i=182507 [Retrieved April 24, 2009, fromtheyenisafak.comwebsite:TSK:Wehavenoweaponsburiedunderground]
68 http://www.ntvmsnbc.com/id/25054019 [Retrieved Feb. 5, 2010, from the ntvmsnbc.com website:Lt.Col.Dönmezsentencedtofouryearsinprison,expelledfromthemilitary]
|Weapons and Munitions Seized as Part of the Ergenekon Probe Do Not Make Much Sense||55|
LAWsGROUPandEVALUATION:grenades buried underground were wrapped with waterproof plastic bags, which refutes claims that weapons discovered were wrapped solely in newspapers. While seven of the LAWs were used, 15 others were ready for use. LAWs are usually used in assassinations. An assassination attempt against Jewish- TurkishbusinessmanJakKamhiwaslaunchedinIstanbulin1993withaLAW.Thus, itisnotillogicalatalltostoresuchweaponsunderground.ALAWcannotbereused onceitisused.UsedLAWsweremostprobablyburiedundergroundafteratraining shotbyErgenekonmembers.
10 Ergenekon Investigation
and Case Are Full of
Serious Human Rights
Antonio Di Pietro, Italian prosecutor:
“Turkey can be successful in its operations against clandestine groups provided that prosecutors are protected against possible retribution in their fight against suchillegal formations as gangs.69”
CLAIM: Individuals were detained and arrested in violation of the law as part of the Ergenekon probe.
ArticlesGROUP EVALUATION:90-98oftheCodeonCriminalProcedure(CMK)regulatethedetentionand arrest of suspects. The articles stipulate that an individual can be detained only if the detention is obligatory for the future of an ongoing investigation and with the existence of strong evidence pointing to the individual’s hand in a crime. A person can be apprehended or detained upon the receipt of a written order from a public prosecutor.Themethodanddurationofdetentionareclearlymentionedinthelaw.
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TheperiodofdetentioncanlastuptofourdaysforcrimesmentionedcitedinArticle 250 of the CMK. For other crimes, however, the period is 24 hours, excluding the timerequiredforthesuspecttoappearbeforeajudgeorincourt.Thisperiodcannot exceed12hours.
The reasons for arrest are clearly indicated in Article 100 of the CMK, while Article 101dealswiththedecisionforarrestandArticle102governstheperiodtobespent under arrest. Article 100 mentions strong suspicions that necessitate an arrest. Thearticleindicatesthatasuspectcanbearrestedwhendeemedtobeaflightrisk, capableofdestroyingortamperingwithevidencerelatedtothecrimeorinclinedto pressurewitnessesorvictimstorecanttheirtestimony.
TherearesixspeciallyauthorizedcourtsattheBesiktasCourthousethatarehearing theErgenekoncase(Istanbul9th,10th,11th,12th,13th and14th HighCriminalCourts). Whenapublicprosecutorsendsasuspecttocourtforarrest,thesuspect’scriminal file reaches one of the 18 judges at the courts. The prosecutor does not have the opportunity or right to choose before which judge the suspect will appear. The decision for arrest comes from a single judge, but appeals against the arrest are examinedbyapanelofthreejudges.Thejudgewhomadethearrestdecisionisnot amongthethree.Suspectsmayappealtheordertoarrestorrequesttobereleasedas manytimesastheywish.Forexample,retiredGen.HursitTolonappealedhisarrest 11 times during the seven months he spent in prison for leadership of Ergenekon. Similarly, Baskent University Rector Mehmet Haberal presented 25 appeals to the court in one year, which means his appeals were examined by almost all the judges attheBesiktasCourthouse.
Turkey has been penalized many times by the European Court of Human Rights for lengthy periods of imprisonment without a judgment. Detention pending trial is generally an improperly implemented practice in Turkey, and it is problematic from the perspective of protecting the rights of the accused. However, it would not befairtosaythatErgenekonsuspectsaresubjectedtomoreinjusticethansuspects in other cases in terms of period of imprisonment. In addition to this, it should be stated that many suspects tried in terror-related cases were imprisoned for much longerperiodsoftimewithoutconvictionthanErgenekonsuspects.
CLAIM: Phone conversations of Ergenekon suspects were illegally wiretapped.
ArticleGROUP135EVALUATION:of the CMK stipulates that the telephone conversations of individuals canbewiretappedandrecordeduponcourtorderonlyifthereisstrongasuspicion related to a crime committed and if there is no other method available providing access to evidence to confirm the suspicion. The court order usually refers to a
|Ergenekon Investigation and Case Are Full of Serious Human Rights Violations||59|
wiretapofthreemonths,butthisperiodmaybeextendednumeroustimesprovided that each extension does not exceed one month if the crime is believed to be the workofanorganizedgroup.
The telephone conversations of Ergenekon suspects have been wiretapped in accordancewiththelaw;however,wiretapsareoftencarriedoutinviolationofthe law, another chronic problem of Turkey. Wiretapping the phone conversations of Ergenekonsuspectshasnotencounteredanylegalproblems.
In addition, circles that wish to downplay the Ergenekon investigation strive to createmisinformationimplyingthat illegal wiretapswerecarriedoutaspartofthe Ergenekoninvestigationandwereincludedintheindictments.
However,weshouldnotforgetthatitwouldnotbepossibletohaveaccesstopieces of evidence related to criminal acts of an organization such as Ergenekon without wiretaps.
CLAIM: Ergenekon suspects do not even know what they are accused of.
AllGROUPindictmentsEVALUATION:andfoldersofevidencepreparedsincethelaunchoftheErgenekon probe have been forwarded to suspects and their lawyers on CDs. In addition, suspects were informed of the accusations directed at them both before detention by police and during interrogation by prosecutors. The accusations were also read aloudtosuspectswhentheyappearedbeforethejudge.
Ergenekonsuspectshavethusfarbeeninterrogatedinthepresenceoftheirlawyers. Even if they are not capable understanding the accusations directed at them, they arefreetoconsulttheirlegalcounsel.
CLAIM: The Ergenekon trial does not respect suspects’ rights.
Suspects’GROUP EVALUATION:rights are scrupulously respected in the Ergenekon case. No suspect has claimedthathewastorturedorabusedduringpoliceinterrogation.Thedurationof detention has never been exceeded, and suspects appeared before the judge within the prescribed periods. Each suspect received technical help in interrogations from their lawyers, and some suspects defended themselves before the judge with more than10lawyers.Nocomplainthasbeenfiledthatsuspectsweredeniedtherightto defendthemselvesorgiventoolittletimeforself-defense.Therearenolimitsonthe length of the defense statements delivered by Ergenekon suspects during the trial.
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Kemal Kerinçsiz, an ultranationalist lawyer, spent 60 hours testifying in his own defenseoverthecourseof12hearings.FourhearingsweredevotedtoWorkers’Party (IP) leader Dogu Perinçek’s 18.5-hour-long defense statement. Kemal Alemdaroglu made his defense over 15 consecutive days. The prosecution also spent many days readingtheErgenekonindictmentsaloud.
A total of 143 hearings were held as part of the first Ergenekon case, which began proceedingsonOct.20,2008andcontinuedthroughApril20,2010.Thenumberof hearingsinthesecondcasereached57,endingonApril16,2010.Thefiguresshow thatErgenekonhearingswouldtakeupto15yearsifanyothercaseinTurkeywere thesubjectofsuchhearings.Inaddition,apartfromothercases,courtsessionsand statementsarerecordedandlaterdistributedtosuspectsandtheirlawyers.
Thereare274defendantsintheErgenekoncase.70 Piecesofevidenceincludedinthe casefileamounttothousandsofpages.Withallthisinmind,itwouldbeunfairtosay thatthetrialisunnecessarilylengthy.
Furthermore, the trial is under the “public supervision” of a certain media group in Turkey as most defendants are members of or are close to the “establishment.” All details related to the trial — including the family matters of defendants and their health conditions — are closely monitored by the media. For instance, while a simplehealthproblemofanimprisonedretiredgeneralfindswidecoverageinmost newspapers,asimilarproblemexperiencedbyaPeaceandDemocracyParty(BDP) mayorwhoisalsounderarrestissimplyignored.
CLAIM: During the course of the Ergenekon case, prosecutors and judges have been put under (psychological) pressure by supporters of the case.
IfGROUPwe areEVALUATION:to talk about pressure on prosecutors and judges, then we should first of all recall messages of sympathy from high-ranking members of the military for suspectsintheErgenekoncase.Forexample,agroupofleadingfiguresoftheGeneral StaffpaidavisittoErgenekondefendantslastyearandtoldthepressthatitwasan “institutionalvisit.”Similarly,ChiefofGeneralStaffGen.IlkerBasbugrecentlystated duringaninterviewwithanewspaperthathe“standsby”3rd ArmyCommanderGen. Saldiray Berk, who has suspected links to Ergenekon. People who are familiar with theextraordinaryroleofthemilitaryanditsimpactonthejudiciarywouldnothave
70 The first Ergenekon indictment covers 97 defendants, while the second document covers 56 defendants and the third covers 52 defendants. All defendants are tried at the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court. In addition, there are 17 defendants in the Poyrazköy case and 19 defendants in a case concerning a Naval Forces Command plot to assassinate two admirals. ThecaseagainsttheCageplancontains33suspects.AllthecasesareheardattheIstanbul12th HighCriminalCourt.
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Andagainifwearetotalkaboutpressureonprosecutorsandjudges,thenweshould discussthepressurecomingfromthedefendantsinthecase.Weshouldneverforget thatabranchofthedeepstateisontrialintheErgenekoncase.
The Ergenekon trial is marked by the rather “at ease” and unconcerned behavior of the defendants, a first in Turkish legal history. Many defendants insulted or even sworeatprosecutorsandjudgesduringthecourseofthetrial,whichtheprosecution usuallypreferredtoignore.
When talking about pressure on prosecutors and judges in the Ergenekon case, we should also remember a move by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK)toremoveprosecutorsfromtheirpositionswhentheygeareduptoquestion thedeepstatestructureinTurkey.
Official correspondence has revealed that Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin often attempted to put pressure on Ergenekon prosecutors. The chief prosecutor sent a notice to the Istanbul Police Department and the Ankara Central Command on Feb. 26, 2010, telling them not to allow searches at the addresses of suspectsaspartoftheErgenekonprobeunlesspriorapprovalwasgivenbydeputy chief prosecutors in Istanbul. However, search warrants are issued by independent courts. The Constitution clearly states that there is no will superior to that of the courts.Despitetheclearstipulation, Enginplacedhimselfassuperiortocourtsand orderedpoliceofficersnottocomplywithcourtorders.
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LIST OF WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS AND CONTRIBUTORS
|List of Workshop Participants and Contributors||63|
YOUNG CIVILIANS (http://www.gencsiviller.net)
Young Civilians is a diverse band of young people who use humor and political satire to defenddemocracyandcivilrights,influencingthepublicagendathroughnon-violentactions andprotests.Westartedlifeasane-groupnineyearsagoandchoseournameonlyin2006, afteraseriesofeventsthattranspiredfollowingastatementwemadeinParliament,onMay 19,2003,NationalYouthandSportsDayinTurkey,toemancipateassociatedfestivitiesfrom thewaytheyarecelebratedinstadiumsinamilitaristandSovietfashion.
In 2006 Cumhuriyet, a newspaper viewed as nationalist, ran a headline that read “Young OfficersUncomfortable,”citinganumberofissueswithwhichthemilitarywasuncomfortable, including our May 19 campaign. Later, in 2006, we wrote an unprecedented text about the Kurdish issue titled “Young Civilians Uncomfortable.” Since then, we have been referred to astheYoungCivilians.
HUMAN RIGHTS AGENDA ASSOCIATION (http://www.rightsagenda.org)
|The Human Rights Agenda Association (HRAA) was established in 2003 in Izmir with the|
|activities in the human rights field at the national and international level. Its main office is|
|The HRAA accepts that human rights as a value is above all political ideologies and|
|to the very sources of issues and by using appropriate tactics and strategies for translating|
|while acknowledging that the state is the main agent of human rights violations, it objects|
|equally to human rights violations committed by armed dissident groups. The HRAA, with|
|its independent and impartial stance, will sensitize the public conscience towards human|
|rights violations, which pays no attention to the identity of the perpetrators or the victims|
00903124280610-11 00903124280613 firstname.lastname@example.org