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February 17, 2011, Thursday

Where have you been all these years?

It is extremely revealing to follow discussions about subversive plots and groups like Sledgehammer and Ergenekon in terms of understanding their defenders’ crooked mentality and attitudes.

Ret. Gen. Çetin Doğan is a prime suspect in the Sledgehammer case and is alleged to be the mastermind behind the coup plan. Upon his arrest, his wife, Nilgün Doğan, told the Hürriyet daily, on Feb.14, that the health of her husband and other suspects in the case is very bad: “They are at the age at which they need to take good care of their health. They are past their prime, so they can’t stay in damp prison cells and eat pasta frequently.”

She gives the impression that she is a caring, loving, compassionate and rational wife and mother. She implores the public to do something to save her husband and his fellow culprits from any judicial consequences. Listening to her and other such defenders of miscreants, it is impossible not to ask, “Where have you all been all these years?”

If you, and others like you, are so caring, compassionate, rational and human, then as wives, mothers and women, where were you when the 1960 coup happened? Why did you not say a single word against the coup d’état that overthrew the first elected government and that degraded and tortured thousands and hanged the three best ministers Turkey had ever raised? When cadets and lieutenants debased all human values, extinguishing cigarette butts on the body of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and sexually assaulted him by pinching his body and buttocks in the cold, damp rooms of Imralı, did your conscience ever prick you to say anything against such inhumane treatment? Before and after 1970 and 1980, when consecutive coups were planned and staged, Turkey lost almost 50,000 people. They were maimed, tortured and killed to pave the road for ambitious generals to become the unchallenged masters of a nation. Mrs. Doğan, have you ever sympathized with the wives, mothers and children of those killed in the dirty plots to keep those shameless generals in command? Just remember the words of former prime minister and President Süleyman Demirel, “All that blood was shed just to sail some generals into Çankaya [the presidential palace]; it is interesting how it all stopped the day after the coup!”

Gen. Doğan and many of the accused in the Sledgehammer and Ergenekon cases were on duty and instrumental in such coups and their cruel aftermath. So, did your compassion and conscience ever stir then?

What about the extrajudicial killings and disappearances of 17,500 people, most of which took place within the military area under your husband’s command or under others accused in the Ergenekon case? All those victims’ children, brothers, sisters, wives and parents would gladly eat pasta and live in damp rooms if it would only bring their loved ones back to them. Have you ever imagined what it is like not to lock the door for more than 30 years in case your beloved might come back one night?

While your husband and his alleged accomplices were busy playing golf, enjoying summer camps and entertainment and planning coups d’état, did you pause to watch the surveillance videos in which terrorists attacked the military outposts that your husband and his colleagues commanded? With the rest of Turkey, did you watch in horror as young men’s lives were needlessly lost and their families’ futures darkened? Have you ever stopped to ask if those events arose from the decades of incompetence, negligence and nefarious plotting of your husband and his associates? Does your motherly compassion ever say, “Enough is enough,” when you see videos of fallen soldiers and of their stricken parents at funerals?

Sledgehammer was not a war game as your husband has claimed. It was a deliberate plan to bring down Turkish and Greek jets to create a political crisis between Turkey and the EU. Sledgehammer planned to bomb mosques and museums during busy hours to provoke people on the street through agents provocateurs in the guise of religious fanatics, to kill the leaders of ethno-religious minorities, to undermine faith-inspired communities and in particular the Gülen movement and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), and thus to produce an atmosphere of insecurity, chaos and mistrust. This would pave the way for overthrowing the democratically elected government and installing a fascist military junta that would prevail for decades in Turkey. Mrs. Doğan, you and your friends should realize that the 195 suspects, all of whom are retired or active duty members of the armed forces, are not just toy soldiers you give to your children!

Seeing all this, can your wifely, womanly consciences ask, “What is this silly complaint about pasta and humidity, compared to the tears, blood and pain of tens of thousands of people and millions of others in Turkey? Did all this suffering occur because of our husbands’ degenerate ambitions and the unfailing support for them from people like us?”

Game over!

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