Mehmet Ali Birand - English Ergenekon Yazıları - Ergenekon Haberleri
I decided to write this article after I listened to a speech by Halil İbrahim Akpınar, the governor of the district of Bolu, after I witnessed the positive reaction of Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınç. But then such developments took place that the situation became tenser. The headline was supposed to end like this, "...isn’t it a little too much?" This sentence openly shows what is meant. Nevertheless, let me tell you about my purpose in a little more detail. Those of you who read my articles and books know my criticism of the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, very well.
A process that started with the ANAP administration established by Turgut Özal in 1983 is accelerating these days.
The story of the document alleging military plans against the government has gotten even more confusing. The statement by the General Staff is very clear:
Today I prepared a completely different story for you. But it was Thursday, namely the day of "32.GÜN." And Rıdvan and I hosted Atilla Kıyat.
I do not want to elaborate any more about how important the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, are in respect to our country. We all, opposition and supporters alike, know and see this obvious fact.
The Democratic Party, or DP, congress gave the impression of complete chaos. None of the accounts matched and it exhibited very clearly the great fight on the center-right. I’ll say upfront: the leadership fight in the DP has just started.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is completing the first stage of very important visits today. He will then move on to Russia. Meetings with Azerbaijani leader Aliyev and Russia’s Prime Minister Putin are of vital importance for Turkey and the balance in the Caucasus.
The PKK is increasingly having a hard time. And as they are having a hard time they increase attacks. This situation was very clearly understood during Gül’s latest visit to Baghdad. The General Staff yesterday in the press conference said: "Turkey caught an opportunity to eliminate the PKK. We should not miss it."
Ergenekon is one of the most important cases in the history of the Turkish judiciary. For the first time since the establishment of the Republic, we have encountered a trial regarding those who are planning or paving the way for a coup. Up until now coups were justified endeavors that were directed toward the benefit of the country or the survival of democracy.
If the Ergenekon case aims to judge coup provocateurs in Turkey or to block coup processes in Turkey forever then in principle I believe in this case and support it. I wouldn’t want coups and military provocations to be left unpunished.
I’m not quite sure. And probably millions of people don’t understand just like me. But I guess these Ergenekon prosecutors know something. But we cannot make anything out of it.
Reflections on Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ’s speech held Tuesday continue. After the "Military lesson" at the War Academy I have watched all discussions on TV, listened to them on radio and read yesterday’s comments.
The Chief of General Staff Gen. Başbuğ held a speech for two hours yesterday. When you take a look at the hall with a capacity of 1,200 people at the war academies there were all colors of the press and more future rather than former commanders.
Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ is holding a speech at the war academies today. This may not sound extraordinary to you. But those who closely followed the Turkish Armed Forces,or TSK, Turkish politics and the AKP’s politics for the last three years attribute much importance to this speech.
Readers of this column know that I had my reservations when the first Ergenekon crime gang indictment was released, especially because the initial detentions and the indictment document naturally caused doubt.
Ergenekon, until recently, was a case that confused everybody and its direction was unclear. The prosecutors’ aim was unclear. And because they could not articulate what they wanted to do, the case was pulled in a political direction.
It never happened and I don’t see any possibility for it to happen. There is no effort to compromise, much less a solution. Even thinking, "Can we reach a compromise?" creates great reactions. Without going into detail, let’s look at some basic subjects and you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.
The Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, has been in distress for a long time now. In former years this distress could be felt but this distress has increased with what we have experienced since the AKP came to power. Especially the Ergenekon investigation and detention of retired generals in this frame have paved the way for a proliferation of distress. The TSK has been identified with the Deep State concept, which is accused of illegal deeds.
Enough time has passed since the Gaza event. We are now able to make up a balance sheet for it even-tempered. The Gaza movement has not only in view of Israel brought some important developments but also influenced some balances in the region. Up until now we have seen even worse attacks conducted by Israel on Palestine but this time Gaza was different. Let’s take a look together at developments after Gaza:
There are some solid rules in politics that you cannot change no matter how hard you try. These rules apply everywhere in the world. No matter how honestly you work or whether you stick to rules it’s all in vain. If you are a leader or a politician at the forefront, then your family and foremost your children are in a difficult position. They are examined under the magnifying glass whenever their action involves money. Even if they don’t earn any money it is always said that they earn hand over fist.
Being lost in daily events and especially the Ergenekon trial has prevented us from seeing the big picture. For example, I wasn’t able to share with you developments in Iraq. Last week Iraq’s foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, visited Ankara and interesting decisions were made. I also talked to experts following the subject closely. The situation has become clearer.
The daily Milliyet has done a great thing. It asked the company A&G, headed by Adil Gür, to conduct a survey regarding Ergenekon. It was the perfect timing and subject to test the waters. I was interested in answers to two questions. One question being how much do you believe in Ergenekon. Take a look at how interesting the results are.
An interesting atmosphere has developed in recent weeks. We reacted with such harsh criticism to the Ergenekon investigation it seems like the administration as well as the judiciary decided to do some fine tuning in order to "calm down some extremes and criticisms."
We have again started to mix apples and oranges. We all show reaction to Israel’s massacre, killing children and people in Gaza as if trying to attract the world’s attention, not taking notice of anyone. I, for the first time in years, wrote about Israel committing a crime and the United States joining this crime. The public indignation is perfectly justified.
The worst step for the military to take at this point is probably to take on an attitude that might hinder the Ergenekon case. Because then it might seem as if the military wants to hide something. If an action starts in that direction then no one can prevent an erosion of prestige
The split mindedness of the public regarding Ergenekon is growing. Investigators and administrators know for sure what they are doing. But for the sake of "impartiality" they do not want to speak about it and developments are not communicated very well to the public. It is not clear what it is trying to be done. What’s worse is that the event is becoming more and more political.
Some of Turkey’s most repeated, biggest lies are the following: The slogan, "Leave yourself to the caring arms of justice;" the clich, "Trust the police who will take you under their wings and protect you;" and the most brilliant, "Justice will certainly find the truth and determine who is right and who is wrong."
I know the importance of the Ergenekon affair. I want the opportunity, which we missed during the Susurluk investigation, to be caught this time. But what makes our minds split are the repulsiveness, coarseness and non-persuasive detentions of the investigation
Questions in the mind of the public grow. Maybe I touch on the same points over and over but we have come to a very important stage. Explanations made by the Istanbul law society and the judicial milieu are very serious and the Ergenekon investigation and trial period bring about such a harsh criticism for the procedure applied by the prosecutor that doubts and concerns are deepening in the public opinion.
Ergenekon was about to be forgotten but all of a sudden it was revived again. The overall expectation was in the line of that this case, based on obscure accusations, would last long and fall off the agenda. This mood has promptly changed. Those taken into custody are names that the public knows well.
The Ergenekon case started in 2008 and it would have become the year’s event if it hadn’t been overshadowed by dubious charges by the attorney general and some constraints in the accusations, or by claims based on wire tapping and the spreading of unnecessary information.
It always there. Even though there was news about employees working illegally and out of surveillance, no one put an end to it. was