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January 21, 2013, Monday

Who seeks to vindicate the coup perpetrators?

Last week, the İzmit police uncovered a plan concerning an attack against a Protestant church in the city.

The incident has the potential to be evaluated within the scope of the case files concerning the massacre of Christian missionaries at the Zirve Publishing House in Malatya or the murder of a priest, Father Andrea Santoro, in Trabzon. Attacks against Christian missionaries and non-Muslim clerics are not simple incidents. These attacks are plotted to advertise the simple piety of ordinary people as nurturing criminal tendencies. This advertisement targets whom? Western public opinion. The intention to defame the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which has been democratically elected to office, by turning this simple piety into a conservative political identity and portray it (the AK Party) as a violent and aggressive organization similar to al-Qaeda, eventually to overthrow it by securing Western support. Thus, the coup perpetrators who wouldn't allow such radicalism will necessarily assume control of the political power with popular support.

This scenario is the unchanging theme of the coup plans we learn from the criminal cases against Ergenekon -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government -- the perpetrators of the Zirve massacre and the planners of the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plan. Those who seek to overthrow the democratically elected government invariably use the same theme. The world of the coup perpetrators is restricted to the world of intrigue as portrayed in typical Yeşilçam movies, in which the bad guys prevent the poor man (the public) from marrying the rich woman (welfare and democracy). In this cinematographic world, the poor man is accused of killing -- or setting his sights on the wealth of -- the rich woman's father; and then, the rich woman has to marry the bad guy. What should the poor man do? Try to prove that he is not guilty, or lament losing his beloved?

The demonstration held on Sunday in Taksim Square in İstanbul by the 70 Million Steps Against Military Coups Coalition reminded us of those intrigues when we were on the brink of believing that the bad guys were innocent. Starting with 2007, we have gone through a process of settling accounts with coups, and this process has been embraced by large segments of society since 2009. Ergenekon, Balyoz and, finally, the February 28 trials have emerged as the robust legal basis of this process. The evidential documents and information gleaned from these trials have shown us that the country narrowly missed a number of disasters in the past. It was hair-raising to learn how the coups were plotted. Now, some groups are trying to make us believe that the coup perpetrators are innocent. Who are they?

I have long advocated that the era of coups has ended in Turkey. The systemic power of the ongoing campaign to vindicate coup perpetrators is urging me to revise my thesis. When Ergenekon was caught red-handed with hand grenades in Ümraniye, İstanbul, in 2007, the coup perpetrators took a defensive position and suspended their plans. The organization focused their energy entirely on discrediting and defaming the claims and theories of prosecutors in an effective manner. You can't put toothpaste back in the tube. Now they are trying to convince the public that they have nothing do with the toothpaste or the tube. If the attack against the Protestant church in İzmit had occurred, what would those groups, who seek to vindicate the coup perpetrators, tell us? Guess. “It appears that the inmates of Silivri Prison have nothing to do with it,” they would say, and they would extrapolate this reasoning to the previous deeds of the coup perpetrators. If, as Hurşit Tolon was arrested in connection with the Zirve massacre, a similar incident had occurred, they would use it to claim that those in prison were not responsible for it.

The whole universe of coup planners consists of overthrowing the government and devising plans to do this. Their guiding principle is “All of the country's interests are of secondary importance to coups.” Thus, their routine activities include triggering clashes between Turks and Kurds or between Alevis and Sunnis and undermining the economy and political stability and risking the country's security. Certain people nested within the state apparatus focus on activities and work to implement them. We have many reasons to believe that they are working hard to vindicate the coup perpetrators and, at the same time, plot new murders.

I reiterate my proposal: Starting with the Special Warfare Department, let us abolish all central units of the army. There is no way, other than this, to be safe from coup perpetrators.

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