We have learned that subversive generals had decided to overthrow the government about one year before they actually did on Sept. 12, 1980.
A general allegedly said, “We waited for suitable conditions,” in explaining the delay. In other words, massacres, street skirmishes between leftist and rightist groups, mass demonstrations, the tragic events of Maraş and Çorum, etc. -- all were orchestrated from a single center and with a single target in mind.
In the 1970s, the late Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit learned the truth about the Special Warfare Department/Counter-Guerrilla when he was asked to pay the salaries of its members from secret funds allocated for his direct use. Referring to the bloody incidents of May Day 1977, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Ecevit said: “The Counter-Guerrilla is at work. It had a hand in the May Day incidents.”
I must note it is very unfortunate that Turkey has been unable to get rid of its long-running deep-state networks through the cases launched against Ergenekon -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government -- and the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plan. We have sadly observed that media, business circles, academics and politicians, who acted as mouthpieces for the official ideology and tutelary forces, have worked hard to render this historic process dysfunctional through manipulation and resistance. We can also say that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had given initial support to the process, but later opted for a more neutral stance in line with the requirements of realpolitik. The process of drafting a civilian constitution has been blocked due to the AK Party’s insistence that the commission should discussing changing the regime to a presidential system as part of the new constitution drafting process.
One does not have to be an oracle to predict that the regression in democratization, transparency and demilitarization processes as well as the slowdown in reform will bring about losses both to the government and to the country. I must note that it is too optimistic to argue that the coups in Turkey have come to an end and that tutelage has weakened considerably. To recognize that deep state forces and the military continue to keep the coup option on their agenda either as a core notion or attitude, it is enough to look at the documents of evidence sent to the 13th High Criminal Court in the case of an anti-government Internet campaign spearheaded by the military. Having examined 15 documents recovered from the hard drives of the General Staff (in 2007), Judge Hüsnü Çalmuk prepared a report that contains noteworthy observations about relations among the military, politics and tutelage:
“Any intervention that would be conducted without coordination with the central powers [the US and the EU] will obviously create a heavy price for the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces]. The TSK should cooperate with the US and the EU before attempting to overthrow the government as any attempt that does not get consent from these powers will disrupt the country’s economy. Therefore, any intervention that does not seek consent from the central forces can disrupt all economic indicators overnight. The Turkish lira may depreciate threefold against the US dollar. Interest rates could increase two- or three-fold. In such a case, the social support that the TSK seems to receive from the public could automatically decrease to 5 percent. Under these conditions, the best psychological warfare strategy for the coming period is to wait for the weakening of the global capitalist system on a global scale as well as locally in Turkey. Therefore, when this happens, the AK Party’s social support will automatically diminish. The strategy for this transition period is to maintain the existing power and structure of the TSK.” (Zaman, Dec. 20, 2012).
It follows that Counter-Guerrilla/Ergenekon is still alive and at work. They are waiting for suitable conditions. If the transparency of the TSK cannot be ensured and if it is allowed to remain outside democratic review, this will allow tutelage to lay in ambush and wait for the proper time to overthrow the government.