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Ruben Melkonyan 31 March 2009
You can steadily assert that in the recent period the developments around the terrorist organization called Ergenokon are among the most important and significant in many aspects happenings in the domestic political life on Turkey. This case is very often associated with the notion of “deep state”. It is mentioned that the disclosure of Ergenekon and trial in reality are a kind of struggle between pro-Islamic government and secular militaries. The fact that there are militaries in Ergenekon, and even high-ranked militaries, is irrefutable. It is enough to mention that at present the high-ranked Turkish militaries, e.g. famous retired general Veli Kucuk, majors Mehmet Zekeria Ozturk, Mehmet Fikri Karadag, captain Muzaffer Tekin are all targeted in the investigation either as defendants or suspects. There were also detainees who were set free after interrogation, for example, generals Hursit Tolon, Sener Eruygur, who was set free for health reasons. By the way, the problems with health and the usage of that reasoning is rather widespread amid the suspects in Ergenekon case. And most of them are either already in the hospital, or they applied with such a request and militaries are very often taken to Gulhane Military Medical Academy. On every court session 5-7 suspects are absent for health reasons. At present moment about 100 suspects are targeted in the investigation of Ergenekon case and this number constantly tends to rise. It is noteworthy that there are representatives of different professions and areas. Thus, the chairman of Turkish Labour party Dogu Perincek, retired general Veli Kyucuk, retired colonel Mustafa Levent Gorgtas, the former acting chairman of Special operative administration Ibrahim Sahin, the chief of Department for Combating Organized Crime of Istanbul Serdar Sacan, journalist Tuncay Ozkan, lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, scientist Yalcn Kucuk, the chairman of the Chamber of Trade of Ankara Sinan Ayguz and many others.
The fact that among the members of Ergenekon there are many people who have definite anti-Armenian attitude and who contend actively with Armeniancy and Armenia strikes the eye. It is significant that in the course of investigation it became clear that the organized nature of their anti-Armenian activity was applied by the Ergenekon terrorist structure.
One of the persons, most well-known for his obvious anti-Armenian activity is retired general Veli Kyucuk. He is pan-Turkist and today he is regarded by the representatives of those circles as one of the most notable pan-Turkists of 20th century. One of the most important pledges of that sonorous title was obvious at times support to “younger brother” Azerbaijan during the war in Artsakh and after it. Kyucuk is implicated in many shady deals and cases but it should be mentioned that for us his name became even more interesting particularly in the context of the persecutions and the assassination of Hrant Dink. Let us remind you that youth nationalist organizations, which called themselves “idealists”, initiated actions against Dink, and especially after Dink published in “Agos” newspaper the article, which evidenced about the Armenian descent of Sabiha Gukcen, the first Turkish woman-pilot and one of the most important symbols of Turkey. “Idealist” arranged protest action in front of the office of “Agos” with the poster saying “Dink, you are our target”. It should be mentioned that “idealists” is the youth wing of radical nationalist organization “Grey wolves”, and it is not a mere chance that Dink was assassinated by a young radical nationalist. General Veli Kucuk is a decisive authority for all those circles. There are facts, which evidence to the direct contacts of Kucuk and people involved in the murder of Dink. He even took part in the trial on Dink’s case. By the way, that fact bothered Dink and his milieu, as Hrant’s brother Khosrov Dink said after the assassination, his brother began to realize the real danger and the seriousness of the persecutions especially after Veli Kucuk had appeared on the scene.
Within the framework of Ergenekon trial many noteworthy incidents also happened. On one of the hearings during his speech for defense, while speaking about his activity after he had resigned from the army in 2000 he stated: “I took part in the activities arranged by Turkish research educational foundation, sometimes I had also made reports. I made reports on Eastern issue and I have always been of the opinion that it is not Kurdish issue. In every village I explained that PKK (Kurdish workers party) is not Kurdish, and that Eastern issue in not Kurdish but Armenian issue. The reason I am here today is because some people do not like”. Such accusations against Armenians are not new in Turkish political discourse, but it is interesting that high-ranked Turkish military speaks about it openly and points out as their main enemy Armenians, who are alien to them, while Muslim Kurds are, after all, their coreligionists. By the way, other defendants also expressed the same idea and believed that the main reason for their arrest was the Armenian problem. It should be mentioned here that Turkish officials of different rank have spoken about the alleged Armenian belonging of PKK: from the minister of internal affairs to the governour; that theme is one of the important components in Turkish arsenal of political speculations. From time to time Turkish press and different organizations make a big deal about PKK fighters and their camps, which are alleged to be situated in Armenia.
Turkish lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, who prosecuted a claim against writer Orhan Pamuk after his famous statement, has also been detained on the case of Ergenekon. He is also one of the “pupils” of Veli Kucuk and he took an active part in the trial of Hrant Dink.
The other suspect, the chairman of the Chamber of Trade of Ankara Sinan Ayguz, was the first who expressed his dissatisfaction at the slogan used after the assassination of Hrant Dink “We are all Armenians, we are all Hrant Dink”.
The other well-known figure who is the target of the investigation is the chairman of the Workers’ party of Turkey Dogu Perincek. It would be not out of place to mention that he is one of the most important links in the Tukish propaganda machinery working against the international recognition of Armenian Genocide. It is also known that Dogu Perincek is of Armenian descent but his activity is directed against Armeniancy. Such a phenomenon sometimes can be seen in the circles of those who have converted faith or lost their identity1. During the process on Ergenkon case it occurred that Perincek was one of the leaders and founders of that organization, but the most important fact is that the aforementioned organization communicated with PKK and its guerillas with his help. The pictures of Dogu Perincek and Abdullah Ocalan in one of the fighters’ camps were also published. In the course of the trial the “advisory” letter of Perincek to Ocalan dated on may 26 20002 was presented. By showing the alleged connection between PKK and Ergenekon, Turkish authorities, in our opinion, gain several aims. Firstly, they show the connection between Kurdish guerillas and Turkish “deep state”, which used all that to destabilize the situation in the country, i.e. to create prerequisites for the revolution and to implement it, but it is even more important that this exposure caused deep keen disappointment among oppositional Kurds, and a part of them have even felt themselves deceived. On the other hand, today the present Turkish government is engaged in the opening of Kurdish TV channel and radio and it is obvious that it would soften Kurdish issue at some extent.
The phase of the activity of Dogu Perincek, which is devoted to the struggle against the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, has also been reflected indirectly in the trial. Thus, it is known that, that the organization with unequivocal name “Taleat Pasha” arranged many actions particularly against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Europe. Perincek was one of the active members of that organization. “Taleat Pasha” organization was especially active in 2005-2006, when a number of Turkish politicians, scientists initiated joint campaign in that line. Among them were the ex-president of the unrecognized republic of North Cyprus Rauf Danktas, pseudo-historian Halacoglu and others. As a result, the proceedings were initiated against Perincek in Switzerland for the denial of the Armenian Genocide (later he turned to the European Court of Human Rights making a big noise round that issue). But it is remarkable that within the framework of Ergenekon trial it became clear that the committee of “Taleat Pasha” was one of the structures created by Ergenekon and worked on the instructions of the terrorist organization3. While speaking about it Perincek announced the following in the court: “That group included Nevzat Yalcndaz, Mehmet Dulger and Ibrahim Ozdogan who were the members of parliament from the ruling “Justice and Development” party at that time”4. Then, after listing the names of scientists and other politicians, Perincek stated: “If all that was arranged by Ergenekon, then it means that all those people are the members of Ergenekon”5. The radical-nationalist leader of the Workers party did not forget about the political orientation adopted by him and blamed “imperialist powers” and mainly the USA in his arrest.
Apropos to the radical anti-Armenian views of Perincek it should be mentioned, that Turkish press has published recently his statements made before on Armenian issue in general, which speaks for his changeable and contradictive image. “Zaman” newspaper, the mouthpiece of ruling Turkish party, re-published the article of Perincek, which had been published in issue 88 of “Turkish left” magazine, entitled as: “Ittihan compradores killed hundreds of thousands of Armenians”. By the way, those views were expressed during the trial which had taken place earlier. Thus, in 1961 Perincek establishes “Turkish workers and peasants party”, which was closed in 1971 after the military interference, and Perincek and his friends were arrested. His defensive speech in the court later was turned into a book, where, on page 154, he spoke about Armenia issue: “Ittihan compradores implemented the policy of persecution and massacre of national minorities. In the East hundreds and thousands of Armenians were killed, the others were deported from the country. Abdul Hamid coloured the Empire with the blood of hundreds of thousands of workers killed in Anatolia and thousands of Armenians killed in the streets of Istanbul» 6.
Among the defendants on that case the former chief of Special operative department of Turkey Ibrahim Sahin stands out for his scandalous testimony. There are interesting details in his testimony, concerning Armenian direction. He handled Armenian issues on different stages of his activity, mainly in 1983 he was posted a commander of a special police forces combating ASALA and he was in Germany and in the US to get necessary education7. According to the material of the criminal case, Sahin created a group, which consisted of 300 people, and it included the officers of Operative department and soldiers who were under 308. With the help of that group the terrorist organization arranged and implemented various acts. In the court Sahin testified that the he had created the group at the at a will of the commander of the Seventh corpus of Turkish army, general Bekir Kalyoncu and the chief of the department of communications support and public affairs of General Staff brigade-general Metin Gurak. In 1993 Sahin by the order of the Ministry of Internal affairs of Turkey created Special operative department, where he worked till 1996; in 2002 he was sentenced to six years in prison on the charge of involvement in the well-known case of Susurlik, but Sahin under the pretext of the health problems was amnestied by the president. By the way, the name of Veli Kucuk was also mentioned in the view of that case.
As it becomes apparent form the testimony of Sahin, he delt with Armenian issues after he had retired. Thereunder we make a quotation from his testimony: “I know a woman Fatma Cegiz, nicknamed Asena, who lived in Kesaria, and sometimes I visited her. She knew that I was interested in Armenian problem and so she acquainted me with a writer. During the conversation with him he told that Armenians arranged monthly assembly in Tomarza and the person responsible for it was a jeweller from Sebastia. So I gathered detailed information on that and decided to inform about it intelligence”9. “…a person, whose name was Hudayi, told me about a woman, whose name was Sepil. He told that the real name of that woman was Matild Sarsanyan and she searched gold in the district of Erznka. Hudayi also told that woman established houses in different South-Eastern provinces where she sheltered Armenians, who had come from abroad. So I told people from National Intelligence Service (MIT) whom I knew about it, and they wanted to know more”10. It is also remarkable that Sahin tried or got the instruction to find out material on the ethnic origin of members of different parties, politicians and celebrated persons. According to his testimony, there are 520 Armenians in Kurdish Democratic Society Party. But there were even more remarkable facts, found in Sahin’s notebook: there were mentioned different facts on ethnic origin of different politicians. There was mentioned in handwriting that the leader of Nationalist movement party (MNP, “Grey Wolves”) Devlet Bahceli, Democratic Society Party leader Ahmet Turk, the parliament deputies from MNP Mehmet Sandir, Mahmet Eimur had Armenian origin11. There is also a statement in the aforementioned notebook that the population of the area between central and south-eastern part of Anatolia allegedly consists of Armenians12.
Sahin, just like Veli Kucuk and others puts forward the statement that PKK is not a Kurdish, but an Armenian structure: “PKK is not an organization, which represents our Kurdish brothers, it is Armenian organization13”. He asserts that he has struggled against PKK during his professional carrier, and after he had gone on pension he began to write books, where he presented the idea that PKK was an Armenian structure14. He also expressed those views on local TV channels15.
In the course of investigation it became clear that Sahin’s group had arranged assassination attempts. Among supposed victims the names of Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul Mesrop Mutafyan, the general secretary of Alevi-bektasi union Kazem Genci, the chairman of the same organization Ali Balkez were mentioned16. It is remarkable that Sahin called those planed actions “internal clean-up” and he regarded the involvement in the Armenian issue as a priority while choosing targets. Thus, Sahin confessed that if he had not been arrested then in a week they would have began a campaign against the leaders of the Armenians17. Within the framework of “internal clean-up” there were also some measures planed against some representatives of Turkish intelligentsia, those who had arranged recently “We apologize” campaign. During the activity of Sahin and his criminal group Alevi organizations also were in the focus of their attention mainly because, in accordance with their sources, there were also Armenians in those organizations. They also planed the assassination of the leader of the Armenian community of Sebastia Minas Duran Guler18. According to Minas Guler’s brother Ervand Guler the number of the Armenians in Sebastia does not exceed 200 and this number reduces day by day, though according to the official sources there are 1136 Armenians in Sebastia. Minas Guler is also a person responsible for the Armenian “communities” of Kesaria, Tokat, Erznka19. It is obvious that one could hardly call the shatters of Christian Armenians preserved in the eastern parts of Turkey communities. The choice of Sebastia by the criminal group of Sahin is explained by the fact that it has more or less multi-ethnic picture and is convenient to deepen the atmosphere of fear and to boost instability, which finds room within the logic of Ergenekon’s activity. It should be mentioned, as it turned out the assassination of three Christian employees of publishing house in Malatya, which caused a stir in Turkey and abroad, was also arranged by Ergenekon.
Thus, this scandalous trial and the exposures made in its course come to prove that various anti-Armenian actions were arranged and implemented by the Turkish state or its “deep” variant. At the same time it is obvious that Turkish propaganda and state machinery, as a matter of fact, still regard the Armenians as their enemies. It is remarkable and at the same time expected that the issue of ethnic origin is in the focus of attention of the state institutions, and this once again gives the evidence of the fact that the problem of ethnic origin and it various expressions are on the agenda in Turkey today.

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