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July 13, 2012, Friday

Settling accounts with the past and political will

It can be said that public interest in the Ergenekon investigation has significantly decreased since the trials examining the organization first started.

 The causes of this decrease are generally the weakening of the political will, the campaigns held to discredit the trials and some irregularities in detentions. Surely these are important reasons. However, I think the most important causes are that the investigation into Ergenekon operations has not extended beyond the Euphrates, and the role that the clandestine group played in murders during the years of political upheaval hasn’t become clear, or is being prevented from becoming clear. The political will has been unable to adopt the same courageous attitude it did when addressing military coups and military tutelary. While saying political will, I don’t mean the political parties that were founded, and that swept or couldn’t sweep to power, or have remained in the opposition since the years of conflict, specifically since the Sept. 12, 1980 coup.

The political will of a society isn’t composed of only political parties. Therefore, if the Kurdish problem and Kurdish politics have been overtaken by the military tutelary, and this conflict has continued for such a long time, then this, above all, implies that civil society, civil politics and intellectuals, who are the conscience and mind of a country, have been left on the sidelines.

The Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) government has not been able to transfer its political determination during the process of the Ergenekon investigation to beyond the Euphrates.

However, what’s more serious is the silence of Kurdish civil society and Kurdish political parties. Unfortunately, in terms of bearing a stance against Ergenekon, neither Kurdish civil society nor Kurdish civil politics have addressed the issue in a meaningful or significant manner. Trials of the Gendarmerie Intelligence Organization (JİTEM) have been continuing in Diyarbakır, but what is actually happening during these trials is unknown. The contributions and attention of bar associations and civil society in these trials are rather limited. While hundreds of attorneys are involved in the trials Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), the number of attorneys attending those trials in Diyarbakır, in which the murder of 50 people is being investigated, doesn’t exceed one or two. For 20 years I have been closely following a murder case in which I am one of the aggrieved. This case is the murder of Musa Anter.

For 20 years the testimony of the soldiers, for instance the testimony of Savaş Gevrekçi and others, who commanded the JİTEM teamin Diyarbakır on the night of murder couldn’t be provided. People mentioned in the murder were protected and guarded for years.

Important developments took place after Hamit Yıldırım who killed Anter and wounded me was detained 20 days ago. The arrest of Yıldırım is completely a journalistic achievement.

Yıldırım was the murderer of Brother Musa, but he led an ordinary life in Şırnak, was still in cooperation with JİTEM and was actually known by governors, police and politicians that were working in the region and also by the people of Şırnak. Knowing the truth but ignoring it with an unspoken commitment is called “playing ostrich”.

This man took shelter in the shadow of the battle and kept living. Everyone turned a blind eye to the murders he committed. Fact that have been revealed with his capture are a very important in measuring how the sociology, future, political preferences, traditional moral norms and pride of a society were played with in the fight against Kurdistan Workers’ Party(PKK). The details clearly show the heavy costs that both the state and also the citizens of this state paid in a corrupted war game and in turn how they failed together. To this end, the capture marks both a milestone and limbo.

The governments are changing, but the relations established with Kurdish society by the state and the politics in the region aren’t changing. It’s because a fight with the PKK is going on and as long as it goes on there will be need for those like Yıldırım in the future as well as today. This is because the governments chose to protect corrupted relations. This is why Yıldırım was able to murder Musa Anter in Diyarbakır and then go to Şırnak and lead a comfortable life.

The state gave him a green card but he doesn’t deserve to have a green card at all.

He drives a luxury car and has a two-storey villa in his village.

There is no doubt that the ‘90s are far behind us. ‘Execution teams’ that were initially founded by Ahmet Cem Ersever and other JİTEM commanders and that merely consisted of “village guard (korucu) tribes” and PKK confessors can’t commit murders as they did in ‘90s.

However, the ones who once upon a time enjoyed the freedom of committing unquestioned murders with the opportunities offered to them by the state have continued to live in Şırnak and other places under the protection of the state’s military and civil bureaucracy.

The state’s duty of loyalty towards them isn’t over yet.

Previous articles of the columnist