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January 02, 2013, Wednesday

Three charts of the Ergenekon organization

Opponents of the Ergenekon case used to refer to a letter sent by the General Staff to the prosecutor claiming that no such organization is recorded among the rank and file of the armed forces. Indeed, such a letter was sent.

The office of the prosecutor asked the judicial advisory board of the General Staff about the claims in September 2007, and the board's answer was recorded in the first indictment of the Ergenekon case: “There is no such entity within the structures of the Turkish Armed Forces or the General Staff.”

Before the end of 2012, the General Staff sent new information to the 13th High Criminal Court about the case. The information included more than the court or the office of the prosecutor expected, plus a chart that was prepared on May 16, 2006. The chart was a diagram of an organization that perpetrated the infamous Council of the State attack, which had taken place only a month before the date the chart was prepared. The organization was not called Ergenekon, but its details overlapped with information on the chart presented by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to the Prime Ministry and the General Staff back in 2003 and the chart prepared by the prosecutor's office in 2009.

The chart from the General Staff is of crucial importance for many reasons. It includes the names Gen. Veli Küçük and Capt. Muzaffer Tekin, both former members of the Turkish Armed Forces. The fact that the chart was prepared back in 2006 but was not mentioned in the judicial board's letter to the prosecutor equates to the destruction of evidence and a deliberate attempt to delay justice. It took three years for the Supreme Court of Appeals to realize the link between the Ergenekon case and the Council of State attack, despite the fact that the link was already made and recorded by the General Staff. The Ergenekon case started a year after the General Staff prepared that chart and the prosecutor's office had to gather every bit of information from other sources.

Now that the 13th High Criminal Court has three charts that can be tied together in front of it, we can expect several developments. First of all, the court will have to speed up activity, since they already have the highest level of confirmation from the General Staff about its members' wrongdoings. Second, the court will have to set some of those who were arrested free since their names do not appear on all of the charts. Third, the office of the prosecutor will have to open a new case against names that appear only on the documents sent by the General Staff. This does not mean new arrests, but certainly a new investigation is needed. We already know that the CDs sent by the General Staff contain information about columnists who were working with the then-unnamed organization. A further extension of the investigation should be determining who misinformed the prosecutor's office back in 2007 and why and whether the General Staff kept that critical information secret intentionally up until today.

Every day we will have more and more information about how certain people in the Turkish Armed Forces coordinated their efforts with journalists, politicians and businessmen to overthrow the legitimate government. Revelation of these facts is not important only for legal reasons. We will develop a culture of facing the dark pages of our history only through such an exercise and it is only through facing those realities that we will set mechanisms in place to prevent their repetition.


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