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January 09, 2009, Friday

Latest Ergenekon storm

Retired Gen. Tuncer Kılınç, retired Gen. Kemal Yavuz, Professor Yalçın Küçük, Professor Kemal Gürüz, honorary Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals Sabih Kanadoğlu, Bedrettin Dalan, former Special Operations Department President İbrahim Şahin ... and the list of 37 people goes on. Some of the people on this list are being detained, while the houses of others are being searched. As of yet prosecutors have not referred any of them to the court for arrest. The injustice that has been in place for years in Turkey should not be imposed even on those who mastermind this injustice. In short, “presumption of innocence” must be our primary guiding principle.

Nevertheless, given the composition of the detentions and house searches, we can make some predictions about the future course of the Ergenekon trial.

First, what we see this time can be depicted properly not as a wave, but as a storm. Under normal conditions, a prosecutor would think countless times before making a phone call inquiring about the health of the people included in the above-mentioned list, let alone detaining them or searching their houses. Law as we know it does not rely on mathematical formulas. Before taking any action, a prosecutor has to take into consideration many details. If a prosecutor knocks on the door of a general who had in the past served as the secretary-general of the National Security Council (MGK), to which the security of Turkey is entrusted and where the most confidential information about the country is discussed, and accuses him of being involved in the Ergekenon terrorist organization, then he must have made his finest calculations. Moreover, these fine calculations also apply to the other people on the list -- a former head of higher education, a former mayor of İstanbul and most importantly, a former chief prosecutor who would change the course of the most critical trials with several statements. Yes, this is really a storm, not a wave. Then, we can move on to the second prediction. What sense does this storm make with regard to the ongoing Ergekenon trial?

This storm clearly shows that the Ergenekon trial will go on with its course in a sound manner, contrary to what is suggested or speculated in occasionally increasing magnitudes to mislead the general public. Before the indictment was announced, the prosecutors who are conducting the investigation were being accused of detaining innocent people for extended periods and of not preparing the indictment as they do not have conclusive evidence. As the indictment was announced, a large chorus of criticizers tried to ridicule the indictment in order to minimize its seriousness. They claimed that such a voluminous indictment could not actually be concluded. After the court sessions started, the court hall was criticized.

When the Council of State attack was finally associated with the Ergenekon trial, doubts started to diminish. The latest storm has effectively refuted the pessimism or black propaganda that this trial will soon lose focus and that criminals will eventually be released. The judiciary is doing its job without hesitation.

The third prediction should be made with respect to the individual characteristics of the detainees. The Ergenekon terrorist organization is a counter-guerrilla organization as the indictment clearly indicates. In the indictment the prosecutors clearly stated that this organization had been established within the scope of NATO operations after World War II and in time, it got out of control and developed into a criminal organization. It is a shadowy group that is commanded and controlled by the counter-guerrilla organization, the military hierarchy, but also uses civilians for doing its job. This organization aims to influence people’s ideas through the use of techniques of psychological warfare and manipulate the nation through provocative murders and sabotage. In Italy, Gladio was found to have 12,000 civilian group leaders. The military character of the people detained in this storm points to this connection, particularly as regards their ties with the counter-guerrilla organization. Only one figure, retired Gen. Kemal Yavuz, was heading the Special Warfare Department when it was most criticized.

The composition revealed by the last storm is in line with the nature of the military-civilian organization. In addition, it gives us hints about what high levels this organization may have reached.

This is the conclusion we can reach: The Ergenekon trial continues on its course as it should in a country governed by the rule of law. Our prosecutors pay heed only to concrete evidence, not to the titles of the people associated with this trial. In sum, we can say that there are honest prosecutors and judges in our country.

The latest Ergenekon storm implies that there is no turning back from the process of eliminating shadowy crime networks within the state.

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