The things you own end up owning you.

Notes On Ergenekon/4.7.08

According to Erol Mütercimler, the secret army established during the Cold War in Turkey was called “Ergenekon”. Ergenekon as a word terms the “myth” of the Turks. Ergene means the mountain-pass and kon the steep. Accordingly the Turks were defeated and retreated to this mountain passage imagined land in which they stayed 400 years and once there was no place to sustain the civilisation, they melted the mountain to open a passage and once released defeated the enemy. However, Ergenekon in today’s world, connotes the secret-operations, or the deep-state which was behind military coup’s during the Cold War and which today continues to manipulate politics from above in an active sense.

Daniele Ganser, a Swiss academic, opened a long-going debate again into public consciousness. His book and articles on NATO’s Secret stay-behind armies, such as the Gladio in Italy shed light to this phenomenon of the “covert world” in Coxian terminology. Robert Cox and Ganser in a way  points that during the Cold War, to sustain the hegemony of the Pax Americana, the US secret agencies deliberately established stay-behind forces in NATO members in face of an immenent tcommunist threat both from within and outside.

furthermore the rhetoric was that the NATO alliance can be threatened within if leftist and communist elements within member states reach a level to question the very existence of the alliance itself. in order to undermine such a situation, the NATO shall organise a secret stay-nehind armies, mostly picked up from extreme right elements, potential or active members of the covert world of drug smuggling to assasinations. For this purpose, a secret network was established and the secret-army operated full time around the Atlantic Pact and its prize areas.

In Turkey this organisation came into being in 1960s, played its main role in 1971 and then in 1980, all paving the way to coup d’etats. Once the Cold War is over, these force was no more in need, and many elements went into underground and became members of the covert world. Some were used against the ASALA and the PKK in and outside Turkey. The Susurluk incident showed that this organisation was still active and the tip of the iceberg illustrated a complex relationship of ex-hitmans, politicians, police chiefs, prostitutes, arms trafficing, drug trafficing and vice versa.

The recent incident in Turkey and the trial, bases itself on the “Ergenekon” and claims that this group’s latest incident was to organise coup plans to topple the AKP government and pave the way to a military takeover followed by a civil strife. The assasination of Hrant Dink, and the information we have that nearly all new that the assasination was coming within the security members strengthens this kind of thinking.

Unfortunately these all take place during the process going on in the Constitutional Court about the fate of the AKP. Many assume that the AKP was not willing to take these issues to the forefrong but hold the Ergenekon as a trump card in case of an attack on itself. Accordingly, nowadays, we see that the AKP government pushed the issue forward which is a historical milestone for the Turkish democracy. To examine a possible coup plot, which reflected itself to the NOKTA Weekly’s “DArbe Günlükleri – Coup Diaries”.

Unfortunately, the AKP’s timing stresses the doomday scenario in Turkey. Both parties have long lost ground to reality and retreated back to their trenches. The President of Turkey, Mr. Gül is virtually non-existent, and cannot play the role he has to play as an interlocutor. His highly politicised appointment to the Presidency is per se important. Furthermore, there is still no valid allegation towards the detaines. This is the crux of the point, AKP’s strange attitude to judiciary. The idea of creating satelite institutions within the existing ones which are not yet taken from inside. This is unfortunately the bureaucratic mentality of the AKP. There have been a heavy clientalism and opening up of new cadres to loyal not compotent figures.

We are faced with two bad alternatives. But the power lies in a civil society movement, like the one after the Susurluk incident, which will protect Turkish democracy, which means putting the plotters in to trial, and changing the form of state projected by the AKP with a bottom-up movement. Many segments could be taken together in such a situation.

The headscarf issue can be solved with this coalition as legalisation in the Universities but a ban in other administative spheres. A counter-movement towards the covert world which includes the gangs-cetes, the neighbour bullies, the thiefs and the rising criminality would unite the people. this should be united with social projects at the local levels, organised by all segments of the political panaroma, to help the members of the space, to find a way to sustain his-her life outside the confines of the cover world. Turkey by aligning itself more with the European Union and by embracing its social democratic values, egality and the European capitalist at the first stage would be another alternative. Instead of the hyper-liberal Empire version of post-fordist beggar-me-death capitalism this would be an option in line with the communitarianism of the Turkish culture. Furthermore, a reconciliation should be reached between all religious groups, beginning with the rights to be given to the Alevis, Yezidis and others, and creating a multi-religious Pious Affairs, embracing all schools with the same distance.

This would revive the Ottoman civilisation’s multicultural paradigm which exists in the intersubjectivities of the people albeit the heavy propoganda of the last century in nation building and myht establishings.  The mutual acceptance of different ways of life, would be the first step to create a plural Turkey which would in the long-run would play a middle power in pursuing a peaceful transnational coexistence, like Canada.


July 4, 2008 - Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics

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