SEARCH OF SPECIAL FORCES
Will Turkey Seize Opportunity to Abolish Stay-Behind Organization?
Former military judge Karda. evaluates the search at the Special Forces Command as "an opportunity to eliminate the counter guerrillas and Gladio". Karda. said the unit established by NATO in 1952 has no legal base anymore and should be abrogated.
Ankara - Istanbul - B.A News Center
29 December 2009, Tuesday
Former military judge Ümit Karda. evaluates the search of the Special Forces Command in Ankara carried out by prosecutors the previous weekend as an opportunity to eliminate the "counter guerrilla" in Turkey.
"If it pleased the judiciary, it could reveal unlawful activities of the Mobilization Inspection Board, established in 1952, and ensure prosecution. The searches are carried out at the intellectual centre of the structures known as Gladio (Stay-Behind Organization) and counter guerrilla. The counter guerrilla's dirty linen might be washed in public. We might get hints about what the structure we call Gladio has actually caused. This is what I wish".
"No legal base, no auditing, not giving account"
Retired judge Karda. stressed the fact that the Special Forces Command lacks a legal infrastructure and a legal base. Neither its organizational structure nor its budget are known. Karda. furthermore emphasized that the unit is working exempt from any kind of auditing and that it is not accountable.
"This sort of structure slips out of the legal framework and becomes a gang. Let us remember that also J.TEM (clandestine Gendarmerie Intelligence Anti-Terrorism Unit) lacks a legal base. However, J.TEM exists of course. It has personnel, officers and civil extensions. This is a similar structure", Karda. added.
"Turkey should not be exposed to such a burden"
"Which psychological operations have been imposed to the public, which actions have been organized to deflect stability; and to what extend is the structure associated with Ergenekon? These are the questions we are facing. The investigation can yield answers to these questions".
"All other countries disestablished the Gladio structures. Turkey did not. Turkey should not be exposed to such a burden any more. This unit, which lacks a legal base and auditing, should be abrogated", Karda. urged.
From 1952 till present
Karda. summarized the history of the unit as follows:
.The Mobilization Inspection Board was established in 1952 as a unit connected to NATO. It is a unit that was established by all NATO member states to counteract the danger of communism at the time". Up to 16 military officers had obtained education from the USA in those years.
"The USA had the French book 'Suppression of Insurrection' translated into English. The text showed how to prompt the civilian components and later on reached us as a field manual for the cold war".
"This unit accommodated civilian components as well. It was operating in many parts of Turkey. Later on, it had the function to create a base for coups".
"The unit was renamed Special Warfare Office in 1967. In the 1990s it became the Special Forces Command. It changed its name and function, but it continues just the same way".
"In the past, this unit was organized to counter a possible Soviet invasion. So, which civilian components, which threats is it countering right now? Highly probably, the answer to this question will be "Sharia" and "separatism". (TK/VK)
Kurds. mistrust of authority precludes support for government
Amid criticism over their lack of support for the government.s efforts to put an end to the activity of gangs and renegade military officers in Turkey, Kurds have avoided getting involved in civilian and military disputes and have adopted a .wait and see. approach, citing their historic mistrust of the government.
The attitude of Kurds regarding leaked army plots to overthrow the government and incite violence among the public is confusing to many given that Kurds were always the primary victims of military coups and covert operations. Some argue that the mistrust of the state or government built up over the years forces Kurds to remain recalcitrant despite mounting evidence of plans to victimize people in Turkey, primarily citizens of Kurdish descent. .Is the government really aiming for democratization or has it reached a consensus with a part of the deep state? Are we witnessing an international plot or is Turkey trying to take bold steps in the democratization,. asks an ambivalent Ak.n Birdal, a former deputy from the now-defunct Democratic Society Party (DTP).
Kurdish conservative intellectual Altan Tan explained that since the .emdinli event, Kurds have doubts about the capacity and the intentions of the government and this lack of confidence is preventing them from supporting the government.s efforts for democratization.
Government failed in crucial case
.emdinli was a turning point for Kurds when the government failed to prosecute the alleged suspects in the crime, including high-ranking military officers. Non-commissioned officers Ali Kaya and Özcan Ildeniz and an outlawed Kurdistan Workers. Party (PKK) informant, Veysel Ates, were caught red-handed in November 2005 at a bookstore bombing in .emdinli, Hakkari. The Van prosecutor, Ferhat Sarikaya, ordered the arrests of the suspects, who were later indicted and tried in a Van court for .staging acts targeting the unity of the state and the territorial integrity of the country, murder, attempted murder and causing physical injury..
Sar.kaya also started a number of investigations into top army commanders, including Gen. Ya.ar Büyükan.t, the then-land forces commander and later the chief of general staff. In the ensuing debate, Sarikaya was disbarred. The three main suspects were given 39 years by a civilian court at the end of a lengthy trial that lasted close to two years. However, in May of last year, the Supreme Court of Appeals declared the case a mistrial and ordered that the suspects be retried by a military court. At the first hearing in the military court the suspects were released.
.The Kurds. mistrust of the government deepened because of the .emdinli case. Now the government is talking about the democratization initiative, it is organizing meetings with the Alevis but so far it hasn.t done anything and this situation increases the question marks,. Tan told Today.s Zaman.
Since the beginning of the Ergenekon case, a criminal network allegedly aiming to overthrow the government by organizing plots and creating chaos, Kurdish politics has not taken a strong position according to many observers although historically, they have been the primary victims of those kinds of actions.
One of these attempts is now under investigation, after an alleged plot by army officers on active duty to assassinate Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Ar.nç was revealed. Within the framework of the investigation, the Special Forces Command.s Ankara Tactical Mobilization Group facilities have been searched by order of the court.
Buried in own problems
Birdal said that the place being searched is the core of the Gladio which no longer exists in any NATO country except Turkey. According to Birdal the disbanding of this department is a prerequisite for a democratic country.
.But how can we trust the government, how can we be sure that the government has not reached a consensus with a part of the deep state? Is it really aiming for democratization? Until now, it has not taken any convincing steps; there are still detentions, there are still operations,. he said.
The security forces carried out simultaneous raids last week against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), allegedly the urban arm of the PKK. Several suspected KCK members were detained in Ankara. Human Rights Association (.HD) Diyarbak.r branch chairperson Muharrem Erbey, former mayors and representatives of civil society organizations are among those who were arrested.
.They buried us in our own problems. Our party was closed, our mayors were arrested but still, the attempts to eliminate Gladio are positive if it really continues to the end,. Birdal said.
Emin Aktar, the chairman of Diyarbak.r Bar Association, said that after the search in the special forces nothing will be the same in Turkey and this in an important step towards democratization. .The government needs support and this support can be given best by the Kurds, but their honor has been disrespected,. Aktar told Today.s Zaman. During the KCK operations the suspects were handcuffed and lined up outside the courthouse in Diyarbak.r. The Ministry of the Interior opened an investigation into the incident and Diyarbak.r Bar Association protested the use of handcuffs on Monday and defined the situation as disrespectful to Kurds.
Columnist Mehmet Altan also underlined the lack of trust between the government and the Kurds but he also emphasized the mistrust amongst all the oppressed people.
.The problem is that the struggle we have is not based on human rights and freedoms but based on seizing political power. If the aim was to remove all the unfairness and to bring an end to all the oppression the situation would be different,. he said.
© Today's Zaman 2009