Monday, April 7, 2008

Ergenekon Document Evidences Links to Military

From Today's Zaman:


47 suspects have been arrested as part of the Ergenekon investigation, launched after the police found a house full of guns and explosives in İstanbul.
A document belonging to the Ergenekon group, a criminal gang suspected of being behind a number of political murders and attacks in the past few years, has revealed interesting facts about the group and confirmed suspicions that the group has connections to members of the military, Turkish newspapers have reported.

According to a report that appeared in the Radikal daily on Saturday, a document seized during raids on the homes of retired army Cap. Muzaffer Tekin, retired army Gen. Veli Küçük and retired army Maj. Zekeriya Öztürk -- all of whom are now under arrest as suspected members of Ergenekon -- clearly shows links between the Turkish military and the gang.

The document, titled "Ergenekon Analysis, Restructuring, Management and Development Project 1999," goes into great detail on how the gang operates, including its illegal branches, its "rules of engagement" for assassinations, the training of hit men and the rules of intra-organizational executions, Radikal noted. The daily said its correspondents did not see the document firsthand; however, some of the content could be determined based on the questions asked by the prosecutors to Sevgi Erenerol, arrested as a suspected Ergenekon member and also the spokesperson of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate -- an obscure church with no following that came under the spotlight with its links to Ergenekon -- during her interrogation.

The document noted that the most important requirement of Ergenekon's activities is "secrecy." "Secrecy is a prerequisite and an essential requirement for the country's economic and social commitment. It is most important that everybody understand that confidentiality of information is most crucial."

Another quotation from the document that the prosecutors read, says: "Ergenekon has no difficulty in overcoming the obstacles it encounters thanks to its 'civilian' personnel, including intellectuals and elites of every profession in addition to the valuable members of the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK]."

The document also forbids recruiting individuals who have received education in a foreign country. The text notes: "Terrorist groups should most certainly be kept under control. When necessary 'bogus terror groups' should be formed to shape the terrorism sphere and Ergenekon should most certainly be part of the game devised by powerful intelligence agencies." Another section of the report reads, "It is an absolute necessity to cooperate with domestic or international, legal or illegal organizations that carry out activities directed at achieving similar ideals."

The Ergenekon document also gives the following reasoning: "All systems that have managed to survive in the world have always deposed politicians who carry ideologies that go against the interests of the country and the principles of the current regime. There are two ways to achieve this: 1) assassination, 2) disinformation. In order to stop politicians who have gone into politics only for personal interests and who are ready to do absolutely anything to reach their target, assassination is the only way."

The art of gathering intelligence

The document openly reveals links between Ergenekon and JİTEM, a secret and illegal intelligence unit of the gendarmerie whose existence has been officially denied by the state. The Ergenekon document reads, "Ergenekon has earned from its JİTEM experience adequate skills to solve issues by making use of civilians inside the organization."

Ergenekon prosecutor under threat

So far 47 suspects have been arrested as part of the Ergenekon investigation, launched after the police found a house full of guns and explosives in İstanbul last year in June. The prosecutor undertaking the investigation, Zekeriya Öz, has been receiving threats since the start of the investigation, the daily Taraf wrote.

The daily said the prosecutor has been accused of being a member of the Fethullah Gülen movement and being a supporter of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). A number of stories in the press indicating that Öz's loyalties lie with the religious-minded segments of society, and particularly with the AK Party, have appeared in some papers, although all of these are unproven. For example, some media organs claimed that his wife wore a headscarf, which upon inspection turned out to be untrue. However, recently, the prosecutor has been receiving outright threats instead of attempts to disparage him for investigating Ergenekon.

The investigation so far has revealed that the group was preparing the ground in Turkey, by way of creating chaos through political murders and bombings, for a coup d'état against the AK Party.

No comments: