News TURKEY GLADIO November 2009
There are a few findings in common in the investigations into Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV) President Ã–mer Faruk EminaÄŸaoÄŸlu and Sincan 1st High Criminal Court Chief Justice Osman KaÃ§maz Osman KaÃ§maz.
Both men call journalists to provide information on cases they are closely following and in so doing direct public opinion through the resulting news reports. For example, EminaÄŸaoÄŸlu says he might even meet with the executives of a newspaper to ensure that news stories on cases of interest to him are covered better in the newspaper.
We learned about this and a dozen other similar scandals after an inspection board investigation. Following an audit at the Telecommunications Directorate (TÄ°B) that was conducted through the joint efforts of the two men, another manipulative tactic was employed by way of the same journalists. Journalists, especially those at NTV who are disturbed by the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine network accused of attempting to overthrow the government, are busy working long and hard again.
YARSAV President EminaÄŸaoÄŸlu wanted it, and the Sincan chief justice granted it. An investigation was launched at the TÄ°B, the center where legal telephone interceptions are conducted. TÄ°B President Fethi ÅimÅŸek, who is also an experienced public prosecutor, said the investigation would endanger investigations that are in progress. He rejected the investigation on the grounds that it was illegal, but to no avail. In the end, however, ÅimÅŸek was right. Reports on the audits at the TÄ°B were leaked to the media, and the names of many people in ongoing cases as well as the names of judges that ordered the monitoring of telephone conversations were exposed. A witch hunt started for these judges. A lynch campaign was launched against people who had acted within the scope of their powers as if they had engaged in illegal activities. It must have had the anticipated effect because KaÃ§maz called for an even broader investigation.
There is a serious level of disinformation. These situations cannot be called âœwiretapping scandals.â When some police chiefs illegally wiretapped telephone conversations on the eighth floor of the Ankara Security Directorate, we called that a wiretapping scandal. But the wiretaps currently in question were conducted at the direction of judges. Judges would not permit the monitoring of telephone conversations if they did not have concrete evidence in their hands. Less than a year ago, Ergenekon supporters obtained a CD numbered 51 that featured private images and information about dozens of judges and prosecutors. The court of appeals president directly informed the officials concerned about these individuals. Isnâ™t it possible that Ergenekon may have used some of these individuals to serve their own interests? More than 50 members of the judiciary were involved in wiretaps ordered for Ergenekon suspects. Is the relationship between a lawyer who is a suspect in a case and a judge who says to him âœDo you have any orders for me?â not going to be investigated?
Take, for example, Ergenekon suspect Engin AydÄ±n, who attracted attention when pictures of him eating at a restaurant with a Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) member were published in the media. He saw in himself the power to be able to interfere in the Supreme Court of Appeals elections. Should AydÄ±n working behind the scenes for some people at appeals court be ignored? When retired chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals Sabih KanadoÄŸlu, whose home was searched within the scope of the same case, said prosecutors leading the investigation would suffer the same fate as those in the Åemdinli case, in which a prosecutor in Turkeyâ™s East was disbarred due to an indictment he presented to the court, whom did he trust?
Interestingly, yesterday the Milliyet daily commented on the wiretapping issue as âœpreposterous.â But immediately under that headline it covered the story titled âœSix judges, three prosecutors in prostitution case,â in which it indicated that the HSYK had been informed about these individuals. In other words, we need to bear in mind that there is a chance that members of the judiciary can commit a crime as well. Itâ™s hard to understand why some institutions hastily make statements. HSYK Deputy President Kadir Ã–zbek made such a statement about a matter that did not yet involve them, which brought many judges under suspicion. He claimed that some judges cringed when inspectors made requests and issued warrants for wiretapping.
Inspectors just conduct inspections, but the HSYK not only discharges people from their jobs, it doesnâ™t even allow lawyers to do their jobs. If only Ã–zbek had taken a look at a relevant report released by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and realized how HSYK decisions affect members of the judiciary.
Italian prosecutor Felice Casson said he was inhibited by the higher judiciary when conducting an investigation into Gladio. Over the last year Turkey has been witnessing events similar to those experienced in Italy, and this does not take anyone by surprise.
14 November 2009, Saturday
ALÄ° AKKUÅ TODAYâ™S ZAMAN