16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

Senior general had all of Manisa under surveillance

4 July 2011, Monday /TODAY'S ZAMAN
A brigadier general kept tabs on every single person in the entire province of Manisa during his service there, justifying his act on a now annulled protocol that allowed the military to intervene in social affairs during times of unrest.

According to newspaper reports on Monday, Brig. Gen. Naim Babüroğlu abused the Protocol on Cooperation for Security and Public Order (EMASYA), which was abolished completely in 2010, to the point of creating lists and catalogues of a large number of people in Manisa according to their religious, ideological and political leanings.

Babüroğlu, who served as the commander of the Manisa 1st Private Training Brigade in 2006 and 2007, categorized hundreds of people during his service. This extensive intelligence gathering, which is illegal, was justified by referring to the provisions of the now abolished EMASYA.

The general approved an intelligence plan prepared by Major E.C. in 2006 to start classifying the residents of the districts of Gördes, Demirci, Köprübaşı, Gölmarmara and Akhisar as well as the provincial capital. Three EMASYA divisions were established to keep track of intelligence activities in these districts.

The comprehensive documents and reports on the intelligence gathered during this period include a report by senior Lt. O.A. on extreme left organizations. However, this report is short compared to the intelligence gathered on various religious groups in the area. Religious communities such as the Nurcus, the Süleymancıs, the Naqshis and the Qadiris -- none of which have ever been implicated in a violent act in Turkey to date -- are treated as if they are the same as terrorist organizations such as Hizbullah.

Intelligence information on the activities of various groups and individuals was monitored and recorded regularly and reported to the general's command center every month. The documents of illegal intelligence gathering that were revealed by Turkish newspapers on Monday also include a schedule concerning when each officer had to report. For example, the department of counterintelligence had to report to the Brigade Command in the third week of every month.

The illegal intelligence reports even include an in-depth analysis of the place of Manisa's agriculture in the country's overall crop farming. According to this, 76 percent of seedless raisins come from Manisa. It is not clear why the general and his team thought such information would be necessary to keep social unrest under control when it breaks.

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