About the ties between the “deep state” in Turkey and “Ergenekon”
YEREVAN, MAY 4, ARMENPRESS:
Starting from the 2007 first arrests by "Ergenekon" organization raised both in the public opinion of the country and in western press active discussions and speculations over the so-called "deep state" issue. Part of analysts prefers to see the structure called "deep state" in "Ergnekon", and the other part was insisting that even if the "Ergenekon" could not been fully identified to the deep state, nevertheless with the elimination of the mentioned institution a serious blow was caused to the latter. Another group of analysts joining "Ergenekon", "Murtch", "Sauna Mafia" and other revealed secret organizations forwards the viewpoint that the ruling "Justice and Development" party carried out a consecutive fight to get rid of deep state structures of "the heritage of the past" and traditions.
Many of Turkish scientists and journalists are of the opinion that the "deep state" does not exist in reality and it is a very convenient reason to ascribe all the injustices and still undisclosed happenings to it. Another group of scientists prefers using expression "deep ties" instead of deep state.
What does the "deep state" mean and is it a clearly defined institution with the necessary divisions? Or we are just speaking of circles of influence and groups who are being united over a joint idea. Turkey's political mind's "deep state" definition and different speculations connected with it appeared from 1970s. The Turkish prime minister of 1970s and 1990s Bülent Ecevit was the first to openly speak about the deep state existing in Turkey. The 8th president of Turkey Süleyman Demirel specified it more saying that "the deep state is militarism".
In 1990s Turkish political analysts and historians started to scientifically study the phenomena of deep state, its genesis and possible role in the most noisy and fatal events.
Currently the majority of the scientists are of the opinion that though still in Byzantine and Ottoman empires the deep groups and traditions existed, the formation of deep state in Turkey is agreed with the period of ruling of young Turks (1908-1918). Inside the "Unity and Progress" party a "fidayi group" was acting which was known for the organization of murders of political opponents. On the basis of the group in 1913-1914 "Special organization" (Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa) was created. It is known that besides the annihilation of caravans of the forcibly displaced Armenians during the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the Special organization played a noticeable role in 1919-1922 in organization of Turkish nationalistic movement.
This historic tradition of the "deep state" (tradition of young Turks) developed in the republican Turkey transforming in the eastern states first of all in the USA in the example of partially secret organizations out of which in case of Turkey the more influential became the "Special war department" created in 1950s. The latter, according to some political analysts during the years of the cold war was one of the important circles of the deep state.
But like during the reign of the young Turks in the example of doctor Dr. Nazim and Dr. Behaeddin Shakir tandem, today as well while speaking about the deep state in Turkey they mean not clearly formed institution which has its divisions and oversight mechanisms, but groups of impact, which being concerned with the integrity of the state and development way unite in the same young Turks's idea "how to save this state". This impact groups consist of big manufacturers, high staff of the army, masson structures, middle and high circle of bureaucracy. During the crisis moments the interests of the influential groups and bands coincide and working out a joint program of further development or for getting out of the crisis, they carry it out.
So in 1980 September 12 the military revolution was preceded by the secret meeting in 1979 in Konia with the participation of the generals and authoritative businessmen. This gathering approved the idea of implementing military overturn for taking the state out of the crisis. By the way this was the demand of the business elite of the state.
In this context, in the case of "Ergenekon" one can note about the deep state and its forces, which are a mechanism for the implementation of the adopted decision.
In various periods the forces, used by the deep state, changed and were noted for their wide spectrum – from ultra-nationalists to Islamic religious orders (tarikats).
In the 1960-70s mainly the nationalist forces, in particular the National Movement Party and the Grey Wolves organization, which is considered the party's youth wing, yet is a separate establishment, played such a role. In the 1980s the right-oriented organized crime godfathers were used for settling a number of political issues, especially in the fight against ASALA. A "social demand atmosphere", where the associations, following Ataturk's ideas, played a major role, was created before the February 28, 1997 coup d'état. General Veli Kucuk and other leaders or members of "Ergenekon" were used in the fight against "The Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK)" in the 1990s.
There are taboos in Turkey's political and social life: the majority is aware of those taboos, yet prefers not to discuss them. The issue of the forces and persons, used by the deep state, is one of such taboos.
In the modern Turkish history and literature the symbol of that situation became Yakub Cemil, activist of the Committee of Union and Progress. During the 1913 Young Turk Revolution he killed Minister of War Nazim Pasha and remained unpunished. When underestimating his power he started 1916 preparation work for a coup, he was detained immediately and, despite Enver's order, was shot. Colonel Talat Aydemir, activist of the May 27, 1960 coup d'état, made 2 unsuccessful attempts of new coup d'états. After the first attempt he was granted a pardon, but in the result of a quick trial after the second attempt he was executed.
Such examples serve as a base for the reality that important and dangerous for the state trials in Turkey do not last long for not revealing the connection with the deep state. In Ergenekon's case that connection was eliminated with a murder of one person.
In the Republican Turkey history there were cases, when the organizations and forces, used by the deep state, became strong and tended to follow their own line of action, as Yakub Cemil and Talat Aydemir did. In the case of Ergenekon this was done by General Veli Kucuk. The time of refusing its governance is neither Hrant Dink's assassination nor the preparation of anti-governmental actions, but Kucuk's statement that he did not recognize the National Oath by Ataturk and that Azerbaijan, for example, was a Turkish territory for him.
It is necessary to touch upon the person, who is or considered to be a link between the deep state and the forces it used, whose name is mentioned during the trials of the Ergenekon, organizers of Hrant Dink's assassination and Major Muzzafer Tekin, who stood behind the May 17, 2006 Council of State attack. This person was Muhsin Yazıcıoğl, chairman of the Great Union Party (Buyuk Birlik Partisi – BBP). The party was created on the basis of the Turkey-Islam unity ultra-ideology. Yasin Hayal, organizer of Hrant Dink's assassination, Muzzafer Tekin, and a number of persons, engaged in various trials, were members of the party and all the threads were connected with one person – Muhsin Yazıcıoğl. After the September 12, 1980 coup d'état without a court judgment Muhsin Yazıcıoğl spent 7.5 years in prison and since then Yazıcıoğl was rumored to be used by prominent secret forces. His name first appeared in the press during the 1979 organized massacres by nationalists in Istanbul's Bahchelievler district and Kahramanmarash city.
During the trials of "Ergenekon", Hrant Dink's assassination and the above-mentioned cases, Muhsin Yazıcıoğl's name became widely used and the links leading to him were revealed. Muhsin Yazıcıoğl unexpectedly died in a helicopter accident on March 25, 2009. His death caused many questions, as an investigation revealed that Yazıcıoğl was still alive after the helicopter collapse, just his leg was broken: the local authorities, in particular the Governor of Kahramanmarash, had certain information about it and the approximate site of the accident. However the remainder of the helicopter, the corpses of Yazıcıoğl and his 6 friends, who died of the frost, were found by villagers only 48 hours later, 115 km far from the site of the search and rescue activities. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey ad-hoc committee on Yazıcıoğl's questionable death has not reached any result yet. According to some Turkish analysts, with Yazıcıoğl's death the link to the Ergenekon was eliminated.