January 31st, 2008 05:27 EST
Turkish Army Terrorising Kurdish People Using Ultra-Nationalist Gangs
Last week police netted an ultranationalist gang, which called itself Ergenekon. The gang included several conservative personalities including some journalists who have made a habit of displaying us as targets.
The gang also included ex-military officials and lawyers who have been very vocal in their anti-Kurdish stance in Turkey.
The gang reportedly was preparing to murder prominent Kurds of Turkey and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk hoping that such incidents would create havoc in Turkey and lead to a military coup in 2009.
In late 2004, we had written a banner headline in The New Anatolian saying Turkish nationalists were being armed against the Kurds in Turkey. We said ultranationalist gangs were being established. At the time, Ilnur Cevik was accused by conservative writers of trying to create sensation. Taha Akyol of Milliyet said Ilnur Cevik was writing nonsense.
Unfortunate for Turkey that time has proven us right.
Ultranationalist gangs have been set up and their targets are not just our Kurds or those who try to promote Turkish-Kurdish friendship and goodwill but also Armenians as we saw in the murder of journalist Hrant Dink.
What is sad is that there is a connection between retired military officials and these ultranationalist hotheads.
Chief of Staff General Yasar Buyukanit has reacted to these reports by saying there are attempts to display the Turkish Armed Forces like a crime organization. He said whoever is involved in a crime would face justice.
Yes, of course no one should try to put the blame on the Armed Forces. But it is a fact that there seems to be some elements in the Armed Forces who are inclined to commit crimes and try to get away with it by using the good name of the forces as a shield.
Is not it a fact that a civilian court sentenced two non-commissioned officers to massive prison sentences for their involvement against a Kurdish activist in Semdinli. However, under military pressure, the case was switched to a military court upon appeal and the two are now free? We do not judge whether the two were innocent or not but we do want to draw attention to the image this has created for Turkey among international circles.
Therefore, when gangs and military links are mentioned of course people will have question marks in their minds.
It is up to the military to keep its name clean by setting good examples.
We remember well how military coups were staged in Turkey don't we?
"Turkish ultranationalists including ex-military people were caught while plotting to kill Kurdish politicians and Orhan Pamuk. We warned about these gangs the years ago and people laughed… But we really can't laugh today."
Source: Dario Rax