’Something you can never forget’

The phrase in the title belongs to former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök. »»

The phrase in the title belongs to former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök. As you know, Özkök has testified as a witness in the case against Ergenekon, a clandestine organization nested within the state accused of working to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government. He had told the court that the Ayışığı (Moonlight) and Sarıkız (Blond Girl) coup plans were real and he had first seen the name of Ergenekon in a report prepared by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and that legal boundaries were overstepped in preparing the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) action plan by using real names and figures. Responding to a question, he also deciphered a critical meeting in his time: He said it was Aytaç Yalman who suggested that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) should issue a memorandum against the government. Speaking to reporters who inquired about Özkök's disclosure, Yalman said, "I don't remember it." Özkök ironically said in response, "This is something you can never forget."

Exactly! There are some things you cannot forget! Actually, the ongoing arduous struggle in Turkey can be summed up in two sentences. One group says, “I don't remember it”, in an effort to make you forget about that dark period, while the other group says, “Never again,” so that that nightmare does not haunt the country again.

Some people seem to lose their memory when you remind them of coups, military memorandums or interventions. You'd think they were Alzheimers patients. If they were passive during those chaotic periods, then you can tolerate this unfortunate loss of memory. But how can you explain the memory loss of those who played active roles during those dark periods when many people were tyrannized? Suppose they really lost their memory, but what about the millions of people who were victimized or lost generations?

Do you know what is recently fashionable in the media? To find the tragic circumstances of the people who are being tried on coup charges in an effort to make people forget that a coup is a heinous act. When you read such news stories, you get the impression that these men are being tried for thought crimes not for overthrowing the democratically elected government. Is this true?

A coup in 1960, a memorandum in 1971, a coup in 1980, a post-modern coup in 1997 and a memorandum in 2007… Clearly, there are recidivists! The dirty war waged to pave the way for a coup is no less evil than the illegality and tyranny during and after the coup. Infiltrating illegal organizations, providing arms and ammunition to them, assassinations, social incidents, sectarian conflicts, ethnic quarrels…

The ongoing coup cases provide concrete evidence about the illegal activities that were conducted in parallel to coups. In addition to the violent attacks such as the Council of State attack and the murder of Christian missionaries in the Zirve publishing house, heavy weaponry and arsenals discovered buried underground, the assassination plans and many concrete criminal documents are claimed to be linked to the organization that is being tried. So it is nothing but a psychological operation to act as if there is no evidence for the crime and try to reset the social memory.

There are also those people who pretend to be innocent yet whose past is rife with crimes. They say the new stories run by the conservative media for the last four years have victimized some people. They are neither fair nor ashamed of people for lying! It appears that people whose professional career is rife with dozens of lynching cases believe that everyone is like themselves. Is it the conservative media that fabricated stories about the arsenals uncovered in Ümraniye, Eskişehir, Zir valley, Gölbaşı and Poyrazköy? An exhaustive list of the concrete evidence about the people who stand trial on coup charges would take pages. So why do some media outlets pretend to be blind and dumb? The media executives who did not report the findings about the shadowy networks and who bought time by saying that they would report when the indictment was prepared are now resorting to a different story. They don't have to tell lies. As the trials are under way we cannot know whether the defendants are guilty or not, but the

oncrete evidence is hair-rising. Moreover, each piece of evidence is newsworthy. Is it wrong to report them or conceal them from the general public?

Those who take this nation as stupid and who seek to create a loss of memory are laboring in vain because it is impossible to forget coups or make people forget them. How can we forget Adnan Menderes? Or other people who were executed or jailed with him? Can we forget how the seeds of dissension were sown between Alevis and Sunnis or rightists and leftists or secularists and anti-secularists or how tens of thousands of people are tortured or how young boys and girls were executed or how the country was turned into a madhouse using psychological warfare techniques. Which one can we forget?

When you say, "We will never forget," they say, "Are you trying to take revenge?" Not in the least! There is no need for exaggeration. People should be acquitted by courts, not with dramatic stories that are penned down upon order. A coup is a crime against humanity and those who carry it out or lend support to it must be called to account. This must be done as it is done in Argentine, Spain, Greece or Chile.

The ‘Community' story Der Spiegel ignorantly published

Certain circles who cannot achieve their ends with forged stories in Turkey continue with their black propaganda using the newspapers and journals abroad. They made US newspaper and journals publish many fake stories. Now they try the same with Germany. A German journal compiled a news story by picking up the views which were denied or found to be false. It seeks to present the “Community,” or the Hizmet movement, as a secret order to instill fears in German society. However, those who live abroad know well that the Community always favors dialogue and pays respect to the social order of respective countries. Moreover, those who read the sentences quoted from the people who are presented as members of the Community can easily understand the conspiracy.

In such stories, it is understood that neo-nationalist (ulusalcı) and leftist anti-US and anti-Western figures in this country tend to act like agents or whistleblowers in the face of Muslims. They manufacture lies in order to foment existing fears. Their neo-nationalism pumps hatred against Europe and the West in Turkey, and they market it in the disguise of "leftism" in Europe. That is interesting. But a lie never lives to be old.