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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gladio -- Ergenekon -- DEEP STATE

'If Susurluk had been solved, we would not be facing Ergenekon'
Fikri Sağlar
Former Culture and Tourism Minister Fikri Sağlar, one of the most active members of the parliamentary commission set up to investigate a 1996 car accident that led to the discovery of links between the state and criminal elements, has said if a journal kept by former Naval Commander retired Adm.

Özden Örnek detailing plans for a coup in 2004 had not been investigated as part of the Ergenekon criminal network, the illegal criminal network would not have been revealed.

Sağlar maintains that Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, who said, "I am Ergenekon's lawyer," is a member of this illegal criminal network with ties to the state whose suspected members are accused of having planned and staged attacks and assassinations with the ultimate goal of toppling the government.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday's Zaman, he noted that politicians who attempt to deal with gangs within the state invite trouble and that these gangs have members in every political party in Turkey.

Noting that politicians who had in the past demanded that Parliament investigate an organization codenamed "Counter-Guerrilla" -- a clandestine army under the command of the Turkish Special Forces which was given the task "to organize resistance in the event of a communist occupation" -- are not in active politics today, Sağlar said: "This is no coincidence. This applies both to leftist and rightist politicians. Anyone who attempted to deal with this business has left their political career." Sağlar stressed that if the Ergenekon investigation can be properly handled and concluded, it will lead to Turkey's independence.

He argued that the Kurdish issue cannot be solved through the use of arms. "The Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] feeds off of political mistakes in Turkey. Everything is done to maintain the armed struggle," he said. Sağlar spoke to Sunday's Zaman about recent developments.

Why has Turkey failed to unearth these illegal networks within the state?

[Former Prime Minister] Bülent Ecevit was the first politician to learn of the existence of the Counter-Guerrilla. Knowing this caused him much trouble. Indeed, many politicians who attempted to fight against the Counter-Guerrilla suffered the same fate, including me. We are the sort of politicians created by this system. When we attempt to combat these networks, some forces emerge to push us outside politics. It is clear that they still do this today. If you look closely at Baykal's behavior and actions, you will understand which side he is on. Baykal and the executives around him hinder politicians like us who are against this system and who advocate that democracy should function with all its institutions and that sovereignty should unconditionally belong to the nation, in which the rule of law is to be upheld in contradistinction to the bureaucratic military state proposed by the Ergenekon network.

Hidden hand blocks politicians

How are such politicians hindered?

Politicians who had in the past demanded that Parliament investigate the Counter-Guerrilla are no longer active in politics. This is no coincidence. This applies both to leftist and rightist politicians. Sadık Avundukluoğlu, the chairman of the parliamentary commission on investigating murders by unknown assailants; Mehmet Elkatmış, the chairman of the parliamentary commission investigating the Susurluk Affair, a car accident that revealed a questionable partnership between a former police chief, a mafia leader and a former parliamentary deputy who also headed a Kurdish family clan in the Southeast and was armed by the state to fight the terrorist PKK; and Sabri Ergül, an active politician who rallied against Counter-Guerilla and a former member of the CHP, are not active politicians today.

Akman Akyürek, a former judge and Susurluk Commission rapporteur, died in accident in İstanbul on Dec. 9, 1997. Bedri İncetahtacı, a former Virtue Party (FP) deputy and Susurluk Commission spokesperson, died in a traffic accident on the road to Esenboğa Airport in Ankara on Nov. 21, 1999. Several passports and ID cards were found in the house of Akyürek.

Has anything happened to you?

I had two serious accidents in 1999. But if I only tell you about how I was expelled from the CHP, it will suffice. When the Sixth State Security Court (DGM), deliberating over the Susurluk case, held that there is an illegal network within the state and that its leader is Korkut Eken, Eken told TV cameras: "Fikri Sağlar caused us to be punished. We will take our revenge." Two days later, the CHP started procedures for my expulsion from the party. Today, if you ask the CHP why I was expelled, they are unable to give a satisfactory answer.

Are there extensions of this network in the CHP?

Today's CHP is a party that accepts the e-memorandum and military coups. It has been transformed into a party that defends Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 301, the 1982 Constitution -- a constitution drafter following the 1980 military coup. In other words, it has become a body whose policies stand in contrast to the rule of law, democracy, rights and freedom. Unfortunately, such a party cannot be called a left-wing party. Voters who support the CHP are not like this, but its executives nurture this mentality.

So you're saying voters who support the CHP still think that it is a leftist party?

Since its establishment by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who opposed imperialism and established the republic, it has been considered a leftist party. When you assert that the CHP is not a leftist party, then name another party that is. But you cannot. After Erdal İnönü left politics, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) became the top party of the left wing. If the CHP was really able to be a leftist party at the time, Ecevit would not have been able to make the DSP the greatest party of the left wing in the 1995 and 1999 elections.

How do you think the gangs are formed within the state?

In 1950, following Turkey's NATO membership, the Counter-Guerrilla network were created as an official, but illegal, organization in Turkey. These networks were termed "Gladio" in other NATO countries. They were originally established to counter the communist threat but continued to exist despite the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Anti-communism associations were transformed into the Ülkü Ocakları. The Republican Peasants Nation Party (CKMP) mutated into the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) overnight. Organic links were established with the Ülkü Ocakları. These organizations would in any other country be termed Nazi remnants. This clandestine organization was modified into a youth club, which later affiliated itself with a political party.

At the time, they used the MHP for their own purposes. Then they sought more security by penetrating into more parties. Indeed, we saw that the Susurluk network infiltrated first into the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) and then into the True Path Party (DYP). NATO countries in Europe purged themselves of these clandestine organizations but only two countries failed to do so: Germany and Turkey. In Germany, the Baider Meinhoff gang was destroyed in prison. Such networks in Italy, France, Spain and other countries were uprooted. The politicians and deputy chiefs of general staff who were involved were punished, but a complete cleansing could not be done. During the Clean Hands operation, the Italian gendarmerie held an armed celebration as if to challenge the operation. This implies that only a part of the network was cleaned while the rest remains.

The PKK feeds off of political mistakes in Turkey

Why did the Susurluk investigation fail?

In the Susurluk affair, the only innocent parties that were not involved in the illegal activities within the state were those coming from the Milli Nizam (National Order) legacy. These parties were marginalized by the state. In fact, these networks were established to also fight against them. The greatest ill fortune for the Welfare Party (RP) was that DYP leader Tansu Çiller was in a coalition with them. If at that time then Prime Minister and RP leader Necmettin Erbakan had not treated Susurluk as an insignificant matter but put state organs to work to solve it, many things could have been unearthed in the immediate wake of the accident. He, however, listened to his coalition partner and rejected the existence of this network in order to protect his partner, who was deeply involved in these dirty affairs. Then came Feb. 28, 1997. That network staged the Feb. 28 process and since he was unable to resist the Feb. 28 process, we now face Ergenekon.

Does this network have members in all parties?

One of the Special Forces commanders has said: "We have deputies from every parliamentary party. We had deputies even in the CHP." This network does not make any distinction between leftists and rights. It seeks protection from every ideology. In the past, leftists would hardly be involved in such networks. It was easier to integrate rightists in these networks by luring them with a nationalist discourse. But today no such distinction is possible. All are involved in the affair.

Rightist parties acted as lawyers for Susurluk just as Baykal is acting as a lawyer for Ergenekon?

Exactly. If you treat gangs in this way, you cannot solve anything. People who serve as the links in the chain might get punished, but the real network cannot be unearthed. The right or left label cannot be applied to gangs and terrorists. This case should not be viewed from an ideological perspective. These people must be seen as members of an illegal network and individuals who have partaken in illegal activities.

Was this struggle against the PKK used as a justification to preserve this network in the post-Cold War era?

The PKK feeds off of political mistakes in Turkey. Everything is done to maintain the armed struggle. The Kurdish issue cannot be solved through the use of arms. In the final analysis, some of the PKK members are citizens. It is illogical to try to "correct" these citizens through the use of arms. Counterterrorism has created new enemies, enemies that enable this clandestine network to reinforce its strength. If you are internally divided into groups and fail to secure social peace, this gives the greatest impetus to such networks as they use this disunity to their advantage.

For this reason, there is an ongoing effort to create enemies in society. Rifts such as those that exist between Kurds and Turks, between Alevis and Sunnis, between secularists and anti-secularists, between the urban folk and the rural folk and even between neighborhoods are made more salient. A culture of submission is being instilled in place of democracy. As long as these divisions and a culture of contention exist, we will continue to serve these networks, not to democracy. For instance, for many years, kids who were born in the western parts of the country were taken to the dirty war in the Southeastern. This triggered the division between Kurds and Turks and it was done intentionally.

You seem to be gloomy about the future of the Ergenekon investigation.

On the contrary, I am hopeful about it, but I have worries as well. Some people are trying to give the impression that whoever opposes the prime minister or the government is included in the Ergenekon case file and this the biggest obstacle to a solution for Ergenekon. The authorities should get rid of this impression. If this cannot be done, this case will not be solved. If you arrest many people and then start to release them one by one, you will be unable to find out who the mastermind behind this network is. If you keep some of them in prison while releasing others, you will not uncover the truth. With a 2,455-page indictment and an additional indictment of some 10,000 pages as well as ongoing waves of detentions, this affair has yet to be solved. The government must be extremely determined to eliminate this network.

If the authorities can get rid of this impression, do you think the network will be purged?

There are two fundamental accusations in the Ergenekon investigation: that a terrorist organization was established and that it was/is attempting to overthrow the government and Parliament. You can substantiate the terrorist organization claim by the 28 hand grenades that were seized in Ümraniye, İstanbul. But your point of departure to prove your claims about overthrowing the government is the journal that allegedly belongs to Örnek and details the plans of senior generals in office in 2004 to stage a coup against the government. However, it has not been included in the case file. It has been said that the journal will be included in the supplementary indictment.

Will it be included?

I hope so. It has been said that it will be submitted to the court before the case begins. If this is done, it will be a significant step forward. Otherwise, the most important ingredient of the case will be lacking. This is the defective side of the indictment. The justification presented is an attempted coup.

Does the offense of rendering the government ineffective through the use of force comprise a military coup?

You cannot render a government ineffective without staging a coup. Rallies or protests cannot be regarded as attempt to overthrow the government. This is against the spirit of democracy. Such logic would rip Turkey of its quality as a country governed by the rule of law. Only the May 17, 2006 Council of State attack can be produced as evidence for the accusation of paving the way for a coup, but it is not strong evidence.

Generals must be tried in civil courts

Where should the generals be tried?

They must be tried in civil courts. I spoke about this with military judges. In the final analysis, this is a coup attempt. The offense of changing the Constitution and destroying the constitutional order has nothing to do with military laws. They must be prosecuted according to universal rules of law. Indeed, had they managed to overthrow the government, these universal rules of law would have been suspended.

Of what significance was the official visit on behalf of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to retired generals Şener Eruygur and Hurşit Tolon?

The visit was restricted to two retired generals. Only Gen. Eruygur and Gen. Tolon were visited, but another general held at the same prison, retired Gen. Veli Küçük, was not. Gen. Küçük, too, was a general and a former member of the TSK. Why wasn't he visited? I find this considerably meaningful.

Does the Ergenekon network have external links?

If the Ergenekon investigation can be properly handled and concluded, this will spell Turkey's independence. This is where Turkey's full independence lies. If Turkey can conduct a trial according to its own laws, then this means it is independent. Turkey no longer has its own economy. The economic players are outside of Turkey. At least the politics and the law of a country should be independent. Considering how Turkey obtained the permission of the US for the Nov. 5, 2007 cross-border operation into northern Iraq, we can no longer speak of Turkey's independence.28 September 2008, Sunday ERCAN YAVUZ

The "Ergenekon network" or "Ergenekon" is an uncovered clandestine ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with ties to the country's military and security apparatus. According to the indictment prepared by three Turkish prosecutors handling the Ergenekon case, the group, which has been compared to Operation Gladio, is an embodiment of the "deep state"; an anti-democratic coalition that holds "the reins of real power" in Turkey.

It has been indicted on charges of plotting to foment unrest in Turkey, inter alia by assassinating intellectuals, politicians, judges, military staff, religious leaders, and other public figures including Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk, with the ultimate goal of toppling the present government. The coup was planned to take place in 2009. This follows allegations published in Nokta that several abortive coups with the same intent were planned a few years ago.

86 people, including important personalities from the army, business and the secular press, have been charged with conspiracy as of 14 July 2008. Those arrested have included nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerinçsiz; the leader of the nationalist Workers' Party Dog(u Perinçek; retired brigadier general Veli Küçük, retired full general Hurs,it Tolon, and retired full general S,ener Eruygur. I.lhan Selçuk, a staunchly secular columnist at Cumhuriyet's daily, has also been indicted on charges of being the civilian leader of Ergenekon. Tuncay Özkan, former owner of Kanal Türk TV station, and 16 others, were detained in September 2008.

65 people are detained as of September 22, and trials will begin on October 20, 2008.

In an interview given to the Workers' Party's weekly Ayd?nl?k on 5 January 1997, journalist Erol Mütercimler said Ergenekon is a Gladio-esque gang hidden deep within the state: "It is above the General Staff, the MI.T and the Prime Minister. There are generals, heads of police departments and businessmen within this organization." Mütercimler was detained during Ergenekon operations but released. Mütercimler is widely credited as being the first person to have written about Ergenekon:
Defining it as a gang simplifies Ergenekon. What is a gang? It is the engagement of a number of people in illegal affairs. You cannot define Ergenekon as a gang. It is a unit of a big organization. Alparslan Türkes, [i.e. leader of the Nationalist Movement Party] and Turgut Sunalp (retired general) were within the Ergenekon formation. "
As I worked within the state for long years, I know that forming such organizations necessitates a big budget. It is not easy to establish such an organization as Ergenekon. It, first of all, must have a great staff. There must be businessmen within this organization. There may be drug traffickers as well. "

Mütercimler heard of the organization's existence from retired general Memduh Ünlütürk, who was involved in the Ziverbey torture incidents following the 1971 coup, and murdered by Dev Sol militants on April 7, 1991. Major general Ünlütürk told Mütercimler that Ergenekon was founded with the support of the CIA and Pentagon.

One of the first articles about Ergenekon to appear in the Turkish media was by Taha K?vanç, who based his 2001 article on a report dated 29 October 1999 and titled "Ergenekon: Analysis, Structuring, Management, and Development Project".

Based on documents allegedly prepared by one of the prosecutors, an article in Sabah says that the organization consists of six cells with the following personnel:

* Secret and civil cells liaisons: Veli Küçük and Muzaffer Tekin.
* Lobbyists: M. Zekeriya Öztürk, Kemal Kerinçsiz, I.smail Y?ld?z, and Erkut Ersoy.
* NGO head: Sevgi Erenerol. Kemal Kerinçsiz (assistant).
* Theory, Propaganda, and Disinformation Department head: Dog(u Perinçek.
* Mafia structuring head: Veli Küçük. Muzaffer Tekin yard?mc?s?.
* Underground contacts: Ali Yasak, Sami Hos,tan, Semih Tufan Gülaltay, and Sedat Peker.
* Terrorist organizations heads: Veli Küçük and Dog(u Perinçek.
* University structuring: Kemal Yalç?n Alemdarog(lu, Emin Gürses, Habib Ümit Say?n
* Research and information gathering head: Mehmet Zekeriya Öztürk.
* Judicial branch heads: Kemal Kerinçsiz, Fuat Turgut, and Nusret Senem.

Of those, the structure of only the "Theory" department has been deciphered as of September 2008.

Ergenekon investigation

The investigation began in July 2007, when it was discovered that a house in the Ümraniye district of Istanbul was being used as a storehouse for arms and ammunition.

The Turkish media reports that the prosecutor carrying out the investigation asked the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish police officials whether an organization called Ergenekon is a terrorist organization or not. The National Intelligence Organization and police officials admitted that it is a terrorist organization, while the General Staff said it did not have information to support this claim. Ergenekon chief prosecutor Zekeriya Öz revealed that the MIT had been aware of the network's existence since July 2002. The first informant was a policeman who said that he had found detailed documents in the seized computer of Tuncay Güney I.pek, a former journalist who was arrested on charges of conspiracy. Güney is now rabbi "Daniel Levi" at the Jacobs House Jewish Community Center in Toronto, Canada.

Legal details

The Istanbul Court of Assize for Organised Crimes and Terror Crimes is handling the investigation, officially numbered 2007/1536 and sometimes referred to by the name of the location where a cache of weapons was found in 2007, Ümraniye. The indictment number is 2008/623 and the base number (Turkish: esas numarasi) is 2008/968.

The prosecutors are Zekeriya Öz (prosecutor-in-chief), Mehmet Ali Pekgüzel and Nihat Tas,k?n. The judge is Köksal S,engün.


The investigation exposed alleged links between an armed attack on the Turkish Council of State in 2006 that left a judge dead, a bombing of a secularist newspaper, threats and attacks against people accused of being unpatriotic and the 1996 Susurluk incident, as well as links to the plans of some groups in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to overthrow the present government. According to the investigation, Ergenekon had a role in the murder of Hrant Dink, a journalist of Armenian ethnicity., as well as in the killing of Italian priest Father Andrea Santoro in February 2006 and the brutal murders of three Christians, one a German national, killed in the province of Malatya in April 2007. Furthermore, files about JI.TEM, a covert and illegal intelligence agency within the gendarmerie, related the assassination of former JI.TEM commander Cem Ersever, killed in November 1993, to Ergenekon.

Documents seized in the investigation have also revealed that the group planned a bomb attack in I.stanbul's Taksim Square to trigger a chaotic environment that would eventually lead to military intervention. It is also alleged that those detained were involved in provocation and agitation during the Gazi incidents of 1995, when tens of people died in clashes with the police in demonstrations after an attack at an Alevi coffeehouse in the neighborhood.

Moreover, documents found at the nationalist Workers' Party headquarters also showed that the MIT intelligence agency had paid in the 1980s neo-nationalist militants, headed by Grey Wolves member Abdullah Catli, to carry out assassinations against ASALA and PKK members, as well as the bombing of the Armenian genocide memorial in Alfortville, Paris, on May 3, 1984.

Another document, named "Turkish Woman Master Plan," accounts for a plan to redefine women's role in Turkish society. The document was kept as a piece of evidence of Ergenekon's social engineering plans.

Republican Work Group

Taraf daily reported on 7 June 2008 the existence of a group set up in 2002 called the Republican Work Group (Cumhuriyet Çal?s,ma Grubu, CÇG), which was set up within the Turkish Gendarmerie following the election of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the November 2002 elections. The new group, established by Eruygur, has been involved in activities to influence politics and the social atmosphere in Turkey. Eruygur was appointed gendarmerie commander in 2002, the year the AKP entered office.

The CÇG's goal was allegedly to overthrow the government -- perceived by the secular establishment as an islamist threat to the secular order of the nation -- utilizing the judiciary and academics as well as other segments of society.

Taraf cited its source as an unnamed military officer who provided a CD on which information about the CÇG was stored in slide shows and text documents. The daily continued its report on June 8, noting that university rectors and civil society groups were among those working in cooperation with the CÇG. According to information on the CD, the CÇG has no legal standing and is not shown as being a part of the military's official organizational structure.

The CÇG has allegedly initiated a number of activities, reports and events since early 2003. It has blacklisted a multitude of individuals, agencies, schools, civil society groups, business owners and public agencies and their employees for their religious affiliations, Taraf said.

Alleged Ergenekon-PKK link

According to articles in the government-friendly Zaman, there are links between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the alleged Ergenekon network.

They quoted a senior intelligence office, Bülent Orakog(lu, as having said that the PKK, Dev Sol, Hezbollah, and Hizb ut-Tahrir are artificial organizations set up by the network, and that Abdullah Öcalan himself is an Ergenekon member. Zaman also writes that the former PKK leader, S,emdin Sak?k, said in his testimony that the Ergenekon network was in close contact with the group and even co-operated with it on several occasions. According to Sak?k, he was brought to Turkey by a group of men led by Mahmut Y?ld?r?m, also known as Yes,il (Green)—a mafia leader wanted for a series of murders and who had past links to the National Intelligence Organization (MI.T). Yes,il's name had surfaced in the report on the Susurluk scandal.

He said the Ergenekon gang planned to cooperate with a number of terrorist organizations, including the PKK, to achieve its objectives. "This cooperation was realized with Dog(u Perinçek (the leader of the Workers' Party) and several other figures. Cemil Bay?k (a senior PKK leader) was also among these figures," he remarked.

Those claims, however, have not been verified by any government source. The testimony of Sak?k was never released to the press hence the testimony mentioned above is not an official one. PKK's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, declared however that he had important information to share with the prosecution, according to Vatan, and Ergenekon prosecutors have asked detail information about his contacts during his stay at the I.mral? prison island.

Öcalan dismissed allegations made by intelligence officer Bülent Orakog(lu concerning himself, but he did say that a group inside the PKK, which he called the Zaza Group, had links with Ergenekon. He said that this group was led by Sait Çürükkaya and tried to seize control of the PKK. He added : "Particularly in the Diyarbak?r-Mus,-Bingöl triangle, they have staged intensive and bloody attacks."

Recently uncovered evidence suggests that the 1993 death of General Es,ref Bitlis, and that of journalist Ug(ur Mumcu may be related to Ergenekon. Both Bitlis and Mumcu were investigating how Jalal Talabani, one of the Kurdish leaders of northern Iraq and, as of 2008, president of Iraq, came into possession of 100,000 firearms.

Alleged Ergenekon-Hizb-ut Tahrir links

Lieutenant Mehmet Ali Çelebi, detained in the Ergenekon investigations, allegedly had links with the extreme Islamist group Hizb-ut Tahrir. Çelebi was allegedly the key which made possible the arrest of five Hizbt-ut-Tahrir members in September 2008.

Suspects and detainees

86 people were indicted in July 2008, 48 of whom were detained:

Oktay Y?ld?r?m (retired petty officer), Muzaffer Tekin (retired lieutenant), Mahmut Öztürk (retired petty officer), Fikret Emek (retired major), Gazi Güder (retired lieutenant), Zekeriya Öztürk (retired major), Mehmet Demirtas, (landlord of the warehouse for arms and ammunition), Muzaffer S,enocak, Ali Kutlu, Ayd?n Yüksek, Bekir Öztürk (President of the Kuvay? Milliye Derneg(i), Nusret Senem (Secretary General of the Workers' Party), I.smail Y?ld?z, Ergün Poyraz (author), Asuman Özdemir, Mete Yalazangil, Muhammet Yüce (retired sergeant), Kahraman S,ahin, Erol Ölmez, Erkut Ersoy, Veli Küçük (retired general), Fikri Karadag( (retired colonel), Kemal Kerinçsiz (attorney-at-law), Sami Hos,tan (Susurluk scandal convict), Hüseyin Görüm (President of the Kuvay-i Milliye Organisation), Og(uz Alpaslan Abdülkadir, Hüseyin Gazi Og(uz (President of the Branch of Kuvay-i Milliye Society), Sevgi Erenerol (Spokesperson of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate), Abdullah Arapog(lu, Hikmet Çiçek, Ümit Og(uztan, Vatan Bölükbas,?, Ümit Say?n (associate professor at Istanbul University), Emin Gürses (associate professor at Sakarya University), Orhan Tunç (writer and retired lecturer from Bal?kesir University), Hayrettin Ertekin (jeweller), Vedat Yenerer (journalist), Muammer Karabulut (chairman of the Ayasofya Association and of the Father Christmas Peace Council; spokesman of the National Force Platform), Abdulmuttalip Tongar, Selim Akkurt, Dog(u Perinçek (President of the Workers' Party), Ferit Ilsever (General Manager of Ulusal TV Channel), Adnan Akf?rat (journalist), Serhan Bolluk (General Manager of Ayd?nl?k newspaper), Hayati Özcan (Representative of the Ulusal TV Channel in Izmir), Behiç Gürcihan (owner of the Aç?k I.stihbarat Web site), Rasim Görüm, Murat Çag(lar, Barbaros Hayrettin Alt?ntas,, Sinan Aygün (President of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce), Atilla Ug(ur (retired major), Birol Bas,aran (President of the Kad?köy branch of the Atatürkçü Düs,ünce Society), Kemal Ayd?n, I.brahim Özcan, Durmus, Ali Özog(lu, Osman Gürbüz, Hurs,it Tolon (retired full general), S,ener Eruygur (retired full general; conditionally released after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage).

The eighth wave of detainments took place in September, producing 11 detainees and 19 suspects, including Tuncay Özkan (journalist, former owner of Kanal Türk TV station, and leader of the anti-Islamist "How many are we?" movement), Duygu Dikmenog(lu (television anchor), Emcet Olcaytu (legal adviser), Tuncay Mollaveyisog(lu (Kanalturk employee), Evrim Baykara (NGO member), Adnan Bulut (television executive), Gürbüz Çapan (former mayor of I.stanbul's Esenyurt district and shareholder of Cumhuriyet), Tanju Güvendiren (former member of the Military Supreme Court of Appeals, who served in the now defunct State Security Courts (DGM) and issued the order to arrest former Police Intelligence Department Chief Hanefi Avc?, who was investigating the Susurluk scandal), Mesut Özcan (cardiologist), Mahir Akkar (civil servant), Hasan K?l?çarslan (retired policeman), Serdar Saçan (police chief), S,afak Akbas, (forensicist), Y?ld?ray Bas,aran (forensicist), Mustafa Tavs,an (forensicist).

Kuddusi Okk?r, detained for allegedly being the financial supplier of the Ergenekon network, died from cancer only a few days after he was released. According to his wife, Sabriye Okk?r, he was in stable condition prior to his arrest on 23 June 2007. She claims that the authorities have done nothing to save her husband's life and filed a complaint to the Ministry of Justice. Shortly after that the ministry opened an investigation to determine the accuracy of those claims.

Most convicts may face at least ten years in prison; the alleged ringleaders, Dog(u Perinçek, Mehmet Fikri Karadag(, Veli Küçük, I.lhan Selçuk and Muzaffer Tekin may be imprisoned for life, if convicted.


Many people have criticized the manner in which the Ergenekon investigation is being conducted, citing in particular the length of the indictment, wiretapping in breach of privacy laws, and political motivations. The media's coverage of the investigation has also been criticized—for releasing misinformation.

Bekir Coskun, of the daily Hürriyet, claims that the aim of the Ergenekon investigation is to create public fear and an organization capable of carrying out the alleged crimes is not very plausible. Several observers, including opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal, have pointed out that the closure case against the AKP and the Ergenekon probe coincided with one another. However, the chronology surrounding the two events would seem to suggest otherwise as the AKP closure case was started on March 14, 2008, whereas the bombs in Ümraniye which exposed the network exploded nine months earlier, on June 13, 2007. Opposition DSP leader Zeki Sezer said that the AKP was building an "empire of fear". Ankara University's Bask?n Oran sees such reactions as indicative of the left's inability to accurately assess the situation, and says that the state is simply purging itself of undemocratic elements. Former Minister of Culture and member of the Susurluk commission, Fikri Sag(lar, said that Ergenekon is a continuation of Susurluk. He added that the network lacked popular support.

The editor-in-chief of the Aks,am daily, Serdar Turgut, lamented that "Those who killed, those who were killed, and us, who tried to build a set of ideas to get our country out of chaos. It turns out that we lived a wasted life. It turns out we were all puppets."

Many Turkish analysts have criticized the declared volume of this case, saying that this long an indictment is unprecedented and besides putting an unmanageable burden on the court it would also jeopardize the chances of reaching a just resolution of this case. Some analysts have reminded that the indictment in the Nuremberg Trials—"the mother of all cases"—was less than 70 pages long.

Former US Ambassador to Turkey, Mark Parris said that one of the most important actors in the current crisis in Turkey are the unknown third forces behind the "Ergenekon" probe that may be acting on behalf of the prime minister, or that the prime minister may or may not know about. The alleged unknown forces, organized in the Police Intelligence department and has prosecutors, seem to be united against the front that want to topple Erdogan and are determined to stop them.

In August 2008, 300 intellectuals from Turkey declared their support for the investigation and called upon all civil and military institutions to deepen the investigation in order to reveal the rest of the people tied to Ergenekon.

Mentioning the Italian Mani pulite case as a precedent, an article in the Turkish Daily News said that the wiretaps may have been obtained in breach of privacy laws. Other sources have voiced similar concerns.

In September 2008, suspects Muzaffer Tekin, Ergün Poyraz, Kemal Kerinçsiz, Dog(u Perinçek and Colonel Erdal Sar?zeybek filed a criminal report against the prosecutors, citing "conducting a biased investigation, gross misconduct and exercises not fit to a prosecutor." The Minister of Justice, Mehmet Ali Sahin, rejected the inquiry, having found no wrongdoing.

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