May Day, which the government decided to make an official holiday last year, was marked merrily in Taksim Square, İstanbul, and across the country. Yet, this merriment was not enough to make people forgot about the bloody provocation of May 1, 1977. On that day, which later came to be remembered as "Bloody Sunday," some people opened fired on some 100,000 people crammed into the square to celebrate May Day, from the building that today serves as the Marmara Hotel and from the Water Affairs Administration. Blast bombs and panzers with their shocking sirens caused people to panic.
Thousands of people started to run toward Kazancı street, which they saw as the only exit from the commotion, but a truck had blocked the way, and many people died trapped between the truck and the panzers. The death toll was 37. More than 200 people were wounded. Rasim Öz, a lawyer who attended the trial concerning this May Day incident, was then in charge of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions' (DİSK) Saraçhane area. He was recording a video of the rallying people. His video recordings contained images of those who opened fired from the Water Affairs Administration. Although he submitted the recordings as evidence to the court, the National Police Department removed the frames showing those who opened fire on the rallying people. Speaking to the Zaman newspaper yesterday, DİSK executive board member Kemal Akar said that several police officers were also recording that day, and these recordings must be found.
For 35 years, we have been trying to learn what really happened in Taksim on that Bloody Sunday. If the probes had not been launched into Ergenekon, a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government, and the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plan, and, more importantly, if the referendum of 2010 had not paved the way for trying the Sept. 12 coup, we would never be able to find an answer to this question.
As you know, the indictment concerning the Sept. 12 coup also discusses the massacre of May 1, 1977. "Taking into consideration the manner by which the incidents had occurred, the testimonies of the witnesses and the fact that those who opened fire could not be caught although they were seen by many people, it is clear that this incident was a provocation masterminded by those nested within the state seeking to seize political power, and designed to foment chaos and internal conflicts within society, and pave the way for an eventual military takeover," it says.
Yet, an interesting development has occurred as well. The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has sent numerous documents to the court about the Sept. 12 case, but it has not sent the intelligence report dated May 5, 1977, prepared immediately after the incident. When the chief of General Staff sent a copy of the same report from the General Staff's own archives to the court, we learned that MİT was trying to conceal this report. Yet, the General Staff noted that the report might be considered a state secret. Until a response is received from MİT, the report has been placed in a secret safe in the court's “cosmic room.”
What is this state secret that cannot be disclosed? What is the information that troubles the state? What are these trucks that tend to appear in all unsolved murders and shady plots? What is this truck that blocked Kazancı street? What is the truck in the Susurluk scandal? What are those trucks in the many accidents the late Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu had had?
In addition to these trucks, there are also individuals carrying out secret plots. Just as in the appointment to governor of a young man from Western Thrace, who planted a bomb in Atatürk's home in Thessaloniki and laid the groundwork for the Sept. 6 and7 incidents, why are these individuals protected? How many members of the National Police Department and MİT who were assigned to the Taksim incident later worked in Susurluk and were involved in the shady activities of JİTEM, a clandestine gendarmerie intelligence unit established in the late 1980s to counter ethnic separatism in the Southeast, and in what illegal activity?
Last week, there was a very surprising development. Two cases against Ergenekon were merged. This is a very important step for us to find an answer to these questions and understand the connection between the defendants. All of the bloody provocations and incidents that had paved the way for coups are today being tried.
The leftists and Kemalists took a counter position on the cases against Ergenekon and Sledgehammer. They campaigned for "no" in the referendum held on Sept. 12, 2010. But as you see, the bloody May Day incident can be investigated only thanks to the "yes" votes in that referendum. This process will be very instructional for those who are standing on the wrong side and who continue to add fuel to the fire of tutelage.