ORHAN MİROĞLU

The powers that be

Those newspapers that have failed to cover the fact that the suspect charged with »»

Those newspapers that have failed to cover the fact that the suspect charged with the murder of Musa Anter, apprehended after leading a normal life in Şırnak for 20 years, was arrested purely as a result of journalistic inquiry have turned their faces once again toward ex-Police Chief Mehmet Ağar.

They graciously offer their pages to Ağar, who claims to have conducted 1,000 operations as part of a criminal organization, and who has yet to be held accountable for any of them. As those pages are stuffed with stories designed to send Ağar’s past into oblivion and make a thinker out of him, the public conscience is getting closer to believing these stories, and this makes one agonize over crimes that have gone, and will possibly continue to go, unpunished.

So it appears Ağar befriended many powerful people during the time he was scaling the state’s summit and conducting bloody operations and summary executions! What we have here is a police chief among the powers that be. Now it is time for payback.

In prison following his conviction for establishing an organization with the intent to commit crimes, Ağar has a lengthy list of visitors, including Aziz Yıldırım, Adnan Polat, sportspeople, actors, etc.

His prison cell is teeming with visitors. It is said that Ağar is preparing a report on the Kurdish question. What more could we ask of him?

Do those who publish such stories ever imagine what the people who have been victimized by Ağar and sentenced to never-ending anguish are thinking when they read them?

In his youth, studying political science, Ağar’s nickname was “Pike.” He went on to quickly climb the career ladder. He became the head of a provincial police department, then the head of the police headquarters in Ankara, then a deputy, then justice minister, then interior minister and finally a party leader. But a new side to Ağar’s identity was revealed by his involvement in the Susurluk scandal, which exposed links between state officials, politicians and organized crime in Turkey.

Thus, he is the one who made us realize that we are not supposed to remove a single brick from a structure built upon thousands of deaths and corpses in this country, and he is the one who said, “I conducted 1,000 operations.” I don’t know Ağar personally, and I have never met him in any place. Yet I have seen him countless times. In the years during which I was living in a house located opposite the Russian Embassy on Karyağdı Street in Ayrancı, Ankara, I would see him from afar.

The same street had a restaurant run by some people from Elazığ. Occasionally he would go there on foot, and I would watch him from the window of my apartment on the third floor. He would walk comfortably and in a self-confident manner. Seeing him, something would come tumbling down inside my heart. At those moments, I would be overwhelmed by a heavy sorrow. The executions in Sapanca, the memory of my friends who were murdered and my wounded would burn inside like a fireball. On one side would be the truth of the dozens or even hundreds of summary executions committed during the time Ağar was powerful and in office. And on the other side would be the reckless and self-confident steps of Ağar.

In those moments when I saw Ağar, I would feel as someone who had suffered all the injustice in the world and who was cornered, and I would curse everything.

When he started to talk about “politics in the plains,” I never wondered how a man who had “conducted 1,000 operations” could change so quickly. And I never inquired about the candidate lists drawn up by Ağar for his organization, or those people who would pull any strings to enter those lists, or the course of Ağar’s “political development.” But I feared him, just as anyone else in those years of horror.

Ağar is the most important representative of a public fear imbued in the spirit of a shadowy era still awaiting illumination. He is the main figure in the Susurluk case, which was brought to the agenda thanks to Aykan Çarkın’s confession that he had been part of an elite group charged with the assassination of businesspeople thought to be providing financial support to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). No one in this country deserves the title “chief of General Staff of the police” more than Ağar. Of more than 1,500 unsolved murders committed between 1991 and 1996, 830 occurred during the time Ağar was the head of all police forces in the country. “You may or may not love my methods, but I performed my duty,” said Ağar.

Speaking to the press, Hande Birinci, the daughter of Tarık Ümit, a member of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), said: “My father was killed by a special team established during the time Ağar was the national police chief, and run by Ağar’s counsel Korkut Eken... Those who interrogated and killed my father are Abdullah Çatlı and the police officers from Special Ops named Ziya and Ayhan.”

Extrajudicial executions of Kurds had a special place among the “1,000 operations” Ağar conducted. Behçet Cantürk, Savaş Buldan, Hacı Karay and Adnan Yıldırım were murdered by the Susurluk network.

This is the real Ağar.

2012-07-19

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Columnist:: ORHAN MİROĞLU