The two-page report he submitted to then-Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit was made public last week by his wife, Sezen Öz, who is a retired judge. Deniz Baykal and Republican People’s Party (CHP) executives as well as the media, academics and businessmen who afford protection to Ergenekon should read this report once again. Thirty-two years ago, Doğan Öz uncovered almost everything that forms the basis of today’s Ergenekon trial. He wrote that some clandestine groups created chaos in order to lay the ground for a military takeover and that ongoing street skirmishes were being sponsored by a junta that intended to take control of politics. And what he said came to pass. On Sept. 12, 1980, the military overthrew the government.
But, this report cost Öz his life. His murderer confessed to the crime. After the military coup of Sept. 12, this trial was transferred to a military court and the murderer was sentenced to death. The penalty was reviewed by the Military Supreme Court of Appeals. Each time (three times), the court insisted that he be executed. Finally, the trial was reviewed by the General Assembly of Criminal Chambers of the Military Supreme Court of Appeals in 1985. Eight out of 15 judges ruled for his acquittal. When the appeal decision was sent to the initial court that sentenced the man to death, it said:
“While the information, documents and witness testimonies available to us signify that the murder was committed by İbrahim Çiftçi, and while this is also our conscientious conviction, we have to abide by the decision made by the General Assembly of Criminal Chambers of the Military Supreme Court of Appeals and, therefore, hold that the defendant is not guilty.”
This incident alone is sufficient to demonstrate what is happening in Turkey, how the military guardianship regime functions and how the judiciary is manipulated. The pro-Ergenekon circles claim that “this trial is a politically motivated one and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is manipulating the trial in order to repress its opponents.” Did the AK Party exist in 1985? What does Mr. Baykal, for instance, think about Öz’s report, his assassination and the acquittal of his murderer? Why don’t the pro-coup bar associations say a single word about this development when they like to talk profusely about every other matter?
Referring to Baykal’s statement that the “cosmic room search produced potatoes,” Öz’s mournful widow said: “I think Mr. Baykal should be ashamed. It is obvious that he is taking sides here. I think he is on the other side.”
Concerning his father’s murder on Jan. 17, 1993, Uğur Mumcu’s son Özgür Mumcu says: “I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the murder was carried out by counter-guerillas.” Uğur Mumcu’s wife, Güldal Mumcu, is still a CHP deputy. If she speaks out about her husband’s murder, then Mr. Baykal and the CHP will find themselves in a quagmire. All the more, if Öz’s wife visits Güldal Mumcu and both of them raise their voices demanding that the shadowy networks that directed the murderers be exposed to the light, then the democratic front will be reinforced. This is because the people who are labeled as secularists have been deceived by these murders. These murders have been used to bring a nonexistent threat of reactionaryism to the agenda, which is used by juntas as a cover for their guardianship. We have not forgotten how Mumcu’s funeral was used to polarize Turkey along the secular-religious divide. All of society has been intimidated by dozens of assassinations by unknown assailants.
Sezen Öz’s words send pain through everyone’s heart. “There is still fresh blood flowing out of bullet holes,” she says. Turkey will not find peace if these murders are not explained. Turkey will not trust the state, military, police or judiciary if this is not done.
Whoever is responsible for seeing that justice is done -- old or new politicians, old or new bureaucrats, media executives, columnists, journalists -- should stare in the mirror and ask themselves, “Aren’t we human beings?” Why don’t those who know a great deal speak? Why do Süleyman Demirel, Necmeddin Erbakan, Mesut Yılmaz and Tansu Çiller remain silent? Sezen Öz and Özgur Mumcu have spoken. Why do those who shouldn’t remain silent refrain from speaking? How can they mingle with us so easily? How can they caress their children or grandchildren? Are selfishness, worldly desires and political ambitions more important than human values?
But this cannot go on in this way. No one can walk in the blood that is still flowing from bullet holes.