Ergenekon’s propaganda power - DEEP STATE brave TURKEY
m.turkone [a t] todayszaman.com
Ergenekon's propaganda power
|Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz's reassignment is a direct and open intervention into Ergenekon case. This intervention can be examined simply by looking at universal legal norms.|
Every case is heard at the relevant court in the judicial system. A judge cannot be appointed because of a case nor can a judge hearing a case be changed. This principle is known as the principle of "natural justice." Prosecutor Öz's dismissal from the case is against this principle. Öz is not a judge, but the reassignment of a prosecutor who has brought the case to where it is today, and whose name has become associated with the case, poses a threat to judges as well.
Öz exhibited personal courage in breaking ground in the Ergenekon case. It is very difficult to identify and expose the crimes of individuals who are nested in the deep state, who carry out secret activities and exercise special authorities. It is not difficult to predict the kinds of challenges a prosecutor in Turkey investigating an organization similar to the Gladio organization (in Italy) faces. Öz received death threats. His private life was scrutinized extensively. False news stories were written about him. This brave prosecutor completed his duties without fear.
Since we are talking about a Gladio-like organization, it is imperative that we assess the situation realistically. We are just at the beginning of the road. The Ergenekon organization is still capable of organizing plots. The main part of the organization and a large portion of its elements are still active. It has immense propaganda-generating power. Öz was removed primarily because of this propaganda power.
Prosecutor Öz was dismissed due to the detention of two journalists, Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık, and the restrictions imposed on the preparation of a book. The confiscation of the book titled "İmamın Ordusu" (The Imam's Army) was portrayed as a violation of freedom of the press. It was brought up at the European Parliament and it attracted the attention of foreign diplomats in Ankara. All this interest about the recent developments put pressure on the court. The investigation into the organization suddenly turned into a violation of freedom of the press. It appears foreign observers have been influenced by the strength of Ergenekon's propaganda.
The book penned by Şık with the organizational support and under the supervision of Ergenekon, is circulating on social networking sites. I reviewed the text myself. The book defends the argument that the Ergenekon probe is a conspiracy and blames the police for this. The book defends the claim that police officers generated false evidence to turn some of its opponents into Ergenekon suspects. It then claims that behind this organized police activity is the Fethullah Gülen community. There are no original arguments or information in the book. Similar books have been published in the past. The exposure of the text clarifies why the prosecutor's office seized the book.
The book is simply a text that disseminates the propaganda of Ergenekon. It is also evidence of the organization's propaganda power. The only reason the book was of interest to the prosecutor's office was because the information in the book was related to an organizational activity. Seizing the book means exposing this organization's activity. By tracking the additions made to the book by various people, the prosecutor aims to shed light on the activities of the organization.
The book does not contain any original information, which shows that the prosecutor's objective is not to restrict freedom of the press. Likewise, the book can be accessed by everyone on the Internet, which is not something that can be prevented, proving the prosecutor isn't in pursuit of a ban.
Marchers outside Istambul showing the cabal members of Ergenekon.
There are structural problems in the Turkish judicial system. The reason arrests are far reaching and have been going on for a while is because there is a lack of alternative measures to prevent evidence from being distorted and suspects from escaping. This case is a major case. The suspects have great influence, both in the state and in their own circles. It is inevitable for wide scale arrests to be made when there is an organization that controls large resources and has extensions which are active in many areas.
However, the Turkish legal system and court procedures are not as arbitrary as presumed. Prosecutor Öz collected the evidence and delivered it to the court. The judges examined the evidence and consequently issued an arrest warrant. Arrests warrants are reviewed every month on a regular basis. Every month, different courts decide on the continuation of the detention. The arbitrary decision of one person cannot dominate this system. There are effective control mechanisms. Therefore, the person that arrested the suspects in jail is not prosecutor Öz; he is simply the person who collected the evidence that constitutes the basis for the arrests. His dismissal will encourage Ergenekon supporters and disappoint those who want the case to be concluded in line with the laws.
Ergenekon is under investigation for being a terrorist organization. But this organization is not an organization that uses violence solely for political purposes. It is a paramilitary organization that is nestled in the state and is comprised of individuals who hold high-ranking positions and their supporters. It is also an organization that is organized like a political party and is interested in controlling the state as a whole. Isn't the prosecutor supposed to take every step with this bigger picture in mind?
The background of violence:
Ergenekon is an organization that kills people and plans massacres to create the conditions for a coup. The brutal killing of three Christian missionaries in Malatya in 2007 alone is enough to reveal the strategy this organization follows. The organization tries to win the support of the conservative segment of society by waging a war against Christianity. It kills missionaries to place the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in a difficult position in the eyes of the European public. Then it disseminates propaganda that the murders were committed because the AK Party government provoked pious (Muslim) people to act. Eventually the country plunges into chaos and the conditions for a military intervention become ripe.
Behind the freedom of the press debate currently taking place is this bloody world, Ergenekon claims all these activities are conspiracies made up by the police. It argues that a religious community is controlling the police and that the Ergenekon case is a battle between the Gülen community and the military.
Öz was a serious and courageous prosecutor, which can be seen by the evidence he collected. Without him, the Ergenekon case would not be where it is today. It is also important to note that if it weren't for him more murders could have been committed in Turkey.
His dismissal is a development that will bring relief to Ergenekon supporters. Hence, the public must be more cautious.
Kuddusi Okkir financed Ergenekon?
Died of Lung Cancer after being in jail for a year
Many of the suspects attended receptions at the US embassy.
The prosecutor leading investigations into alleged plots to overthrow Turkey's government has been promoted, fuelling speculation that he is being removed from the case because his conduct of it is harming Turkey's image.
Zekeriya Oz's unexpected appointment on Wednesday as a deputy chief state prosecutor in Istanbul follows protests over last month's arrests of journalists charged with membership of the so-called Ergenekon group.
Hundreds of people are on trial, accused of belonging to a network spanning state institutions and civil society which allegedly plotted violent attacks and more insidious forms of propaganda to destabilise and unseat the ruling AK party.
Many initially supported the trial as an opportunity to end Turkey's history of military coups and unholy alliances between bureaucrats, security forces and criminals. But others feared the probe was being used to punish AK party opponents – or, more recently, to silence critics of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric with a large following whose supporters are believed to dominate the police.
Ahmet Sik, one of the journalists jailed, had been writing a book about the cleric's growing influence, entitled The Imam's Army. Last week police raided a publishing house and newspaper offices to seize or delete copies of the book, claiming it was being used to advance Ergenekon plots.
The outrage that followed these raids prompted Mr Gulen to make a rare statement on Tuesday, saying he had "never been engaged in efforts to prevent the publication of a book" and did not know the reasons for the investigation into Ahmet Sik's work. "Freedom of thought, expression and the press is a sine quo non for democracy. But it is also a fundamental principle of democracy not to use that freedom with a motive to attack people's personalities or direct groundless accusations against them."
Abdullah Gul, Turkey's president, also criticised the police action, saying that he was "concerned that it will cast a shadow on Turkey's image" – although he also noted that a hitherto unknown book was now likely to become a bestseller.
The European Union and US state department joined a chorus of criticism of Turkey's worsening record on press freedom after the recent arrests of journalists.
Government ministers have repeatedly said they have no role in the Ergenekon investigations, but there have been signs that some AK party members are becoming concerned about its effect on Turkey's image abroad, with Bulent Arinc, deputy prime minister, joining critics of the raid on publishers.
Members of the judiciary watchdog that decides prosecutors' appointments denied any hidden motive for Mr Oz's move, and said it would not affect the probe. "Zekeriya Oz has gone but it doesn't mean Ergenekon is finished," said Turan Colakkadi, Istanbul's chief prosecutor.
Two other prosecutors from Mr Oz's team were also appointed to new positions on Wednesday, even as police conducted more searches in the homes of six professors.
Wall Street Journal propaganda
(can't mention CIA involvement in Ergenekon? Military intelligence? Nato? Gladio?)
MARCH 30, 2011, 3:04 P.M. ET
Prosecutor in Turkish Terror Case Moves to New Job
By AYLA ALBAYRAK
ISTANBUL—The prosecutor leading a massive court case in Turkey in which hundreds of people are facing charges of membership in an alleged terrorist organization appeared to be pushed aside Wednesday, after weeks of accusations that he was using the case to quell freedom of expression.
It remained unclear Wednesday why Zekeriya Oz, the chief prosecutor leading the so-called Ergenekon investigation, was promoted by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors to a new job in which he will no longer have powers to pursue cases involving terrorism charges.
In one case, several hundred defendants are on trial on charges of membership in the alleged organization, known as Ergenekon, which is accused of attempting to destabilize Turkey and topple its leaders.
Mr. Oz drew fierce criticism from journalist associations, opposition political parties and other critics, including the European Parliament, when this month he arrested two journalists, Neden Sener and Ahmed Sik. Messrs. Sener and Sik have been charged with membership in Ergenekon and are in jail awaiting trial.
Mr. Oz's office also confiscated the manuscript of a book by Mr. Sik that was due to be published ahead of parliamentary elections on June 12.
According to colleagues of Mr. Sik who say they have read the manuscript, it details the infiltration of Turkey's police force and of the prosecution in the Ergenekon case by an influential Islamic religious group named after its leader, Fetullah Gulen.
The announcement of Mr. Oz's promotion came a day after President Abdullah Gul said he thought the arrests of the two journalists were "wrong" and were damaging the country's image. "Now they can probably sell hundreds of thousands of copies of a book which could have sold 10,000 copies," President Gul said, according to state news agency Anadolu Ajansi.
The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors made no public comment Wednesday on its decision to promote Mr. Oz. Attempts to reach the board for comment were unsuccessful.
Amid the controversy over the journalists' arrests, chunks of the prosecution's case against the two men have been leaked to pro-government newspapers that support the prosecution's actions.
Defense lawyers for the two journalists have complained that the leaked evidence was withheld from them on grounds of "secrecy of the court."
Prosecutors say they need the manuscripts as evidence the books were being written to discredit the Ergenekon case.
"The Ergenekon investigation and trial have become a tool for the [ruling Justice and Development Party] to limit freedoms," Mr. Sik writes in his book, according to excerpts on a website that says it has a copy of the manuscript. It wasn't immediately possible to verify that claim.
On Wednesday, Mr. Oz also ordered the search of the homes of a group of Islamic theologians—including one who said he was writing a book about Fetullah Gulen—in connection with an investigation into the 2007 killings of Christian missionaries in Malatya, Eastern Turkey.
Both Messrs. Sener and Sik had records of exposing the kinds of crimes now being prosecuted in the Ergenekon case, prompting a sharp reaction—including street protests—from Turkish journalists. Even some pro-government columnists argue that arresting the two men was a step too far, because prosecutors have failed to produce evidence the journalists were promoting violence.
Journalist organizations say Turkish laws enable journalists to be prosecuted for terrorism or for crimes against the state for what they write.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the furor, saying repeatedly that of 27 journalists the government says are currently in detention in Turkey, none was arrested for something they had written.
The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors was apparently "disturbed by the fact that there had been misuse and exceeding of powers" by Mr. Oz, said Mete Gokturk, a former prosecutor at Turkey's State Security Court, commenting on Mr. Oz's promotion on NTV television.