In the last two centuries of Turkish history, nothing has been as important as that “yes” vote. The “yes” votes cast on that day opened the way forward for democracy and registered a vital statement on the part of the people, underscoring a will and a volition that says, “From now on, it is only me that will be making the decisions that concern me.” What an irony of fate, the coup took place on Sept. 12, and then the referendum that finished it off was also held on Sept. 12, 31 years later.
We must immediately recall the mass waves of propaganda carried out by the media in the run-up to the referendum by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Ergenekon supporters, all with the goal of shaking the resolution of the people and confusing those headed for the ballot boxes, so that a majority “yes” vote would not emerge. And what were some of their claims? That it was a giant lie that those who carried out the Sept. 12 coup would be tried, that time had run out on that possibility anyway, that the articles pertaining to Sept. 12 were all for show and that the AK Party and anyone supporting “yes” on the referendum was doing their best to disguise the truth.
And just as we can now see that none of the above allegations were true, now these “no” voters on the referendum are lined up in excitement to try and intervene in the case. There is a certain sense of embarrassment that surrounds them, but no sign whatsoever of any regret over their “no” vote. In fact, those who appear on television programs with energetic and loud adversarial stances against Kenan Evren and the Sept. 12 coup are the same ones who are advocating on behalf of Ergenekon, as they insist on keeping the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases as far from coup status as possible.
But these are people who have fallen into nasty situations, and as they flail around, it will only become worse. You will soon see that, with the addition of certain allegations, this whole Sept. 12 trial will not turn into a “Kenan Evren-Tahsin Şahinkaya” trial. In fact, all of the bloody provocations that helped carry Turkey towards the Sept. 12 coup will be taken into account and questioned. There will be an accounting for the purposeful waiting that took place in order to see coup conditions come about, as well as for the 20-25 university students who were killed every day in institutions of higher learning. And the irresponsibility of the media, which tried to camouflage these murders as clashes between the right and the left, will also be questioned and held to account.
The 34 people killed in Taksim Square on May 1, 1977, the death of Malatya Mayor Hamit Fendoğlu, who was killed by a bomb at his own home on April 6, 1978, and the deaths of seven students who were hit by gunfire as they left the grounds of İstanbul University on March 16, 1978: The perpetrators of all of these incidents will be held accountable. And at the same time, those within the ranks of the police and security forces who did not carry out their actual duties, who rose instead in the bureaucracy and ignored the murder of Hrant Dink, they too will be put on trial.
The incidents of Sept. 3-4, 1978, in Sivas, as well as one of the most important reasons for the actual Sept. 12 coup -- the incidents that took place in Kahramanmaraş between Dec. 19-26 -- will also be taken into account during this trial. There will be a reckoning for the deaths of those 105 people, people who died because the gendarmerie and people did not get involved in these incidents. All of the murders of journalists, intellectuals and prosecutors, these will all be taken into account and see a reckoning. Because all of the above-mentioned events and incidents, as expressed in the list of allegations, “were all provocations directed and thought up by those with the intent of sowing chaos and discord in society, factions wanting to control the state and whose ultimate aim with these provocations was to create the groundwork necessary for a military coup…”
The cases of both Ergenekon and Balyoz will become better understood as the Sept. 12 trial goes on, and as this happens, these cases will no longer remain under the auspices of protection from the military’s and bureaucracy’s mentality of custodianship of the regime. They will also no longer be protected from attempts to make them seem illegitimate. Those who write in support of the guardian mentality of the state will do so with more embarrassment. In fact, if they are at all capable of being truly embarrassed, this will finally show in their writings… If support for military takeovers is consistently exposed in the media, the voices of those Ergenekon supporters will become softer. And the Sept. 12 coup trial will ultimately deal the harshest blow possible to Ergenekon and its supporters. Just think about the heartrending cries of those people who suffered so during the Sept. 12 coup, whose pains from those times are only just now making their way into courtrooms and on television screens to be heard... For them, memories of the pain and cruelty of the coup, and how their honor was so shattered, are a daily reality. As the reality of these people’s pain appears before our eyes every day throughout the course of this trial, we will witness that this is when the weapons of Ergenekon supporters really begin to fall. Their work from here on in looks more and more difficult.