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Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

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  • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

    HAN KEMAL CENGİZ [email protected]


    Why the deep state targets Christians



    Father Andrea Santoro, a Catholic priest, was killed in Trabzon in 2006. No one realized then that this was the beginning of a pattern. The militant nationalist who killed Santoro was just 17 years old. The Santoro case was completed with lightning speed.



    The youngster was sentenced, but nothing was revealed. Then, in 2007, Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian and a liberal journalist, was shot dead in front his newspaper, Agos, by another militant nationalist, who was again a 17-year-old boy from Trabzon. Three months after Dink's murder, three missionaries were brutally killed in Malatya. After the Malatya massacre there were many other attacks and murder attempts targeting Christians once again. A Catholic priest was stabbed in the stomach during a service at a Catholic church in İzmir. In Samsun, Diyarbakır and Antalya, other murder attempts were prevented by successful operations by the police.

    In all these “successful” or attempted attacks, the perpetrators had traits in common. They were all very young, mostly under 18 and no older than 19. They all were ultranationalists with very obvious ties to well-known ultranationalist groups. Some good questions to ask would be: Are all these murders and attacks connected? Were these youngsters directed from one single center? And, most importantly, were these murders somehow linked to the illegal apparatus within the state?

    The Ergenekon connection

    As a lawyer closely watching the Hrant Dink and Malatya massacre cases (and being directly involved in the latter), I can say that all signs point to the Ergenekon gang. Some central suspects in the Ergenekon trial were also indicated in Malatya massacre and Dink cases. Some suspects had either direct or indirect contacts with Gen. Veli Kk, the retired gendarmerie commander whose name was always involved in extrajudicial killings (also known as “unsolved murders”) carried out against Kurdish activists in southeastern Turkey. In both cases other gendarmerie officers were summoned as either suspects or as witnesses.

    But if these two incidents, the murder and the massacre, were planned and orchestrated by the Ergenekon gang, what could the purpose or motivation behind them be? Without having an insight into the mental framework of Ergenekon, we can not possibly answer this question.

    Ergenekon and past atrocities

    Today we have such strong propaganda against the Ergenekon case (in order to whitewash its suspects) that it is almost impossible not to lose the sense of direction. The case is presented as if it were just a fabrication by the government in order to silence its political opponents. This is absolutely not the case.

    I cannot go into all details about the Ergenekon case here, so I will just focus on its connection to the attacks against Christians in Turkey. Even if we just focus on this topic, we can see the “depth” of the organization.

    There are many documents in the Ergenekon file produced by the members of this organization. One of these documents defines the “Special Forces” (zel Kuvvetler) as “the eye of Ergenekon.” The Special Forces, a military unit, is the successor of the Special Warfare Center (zel Harp Dairesi -- HD), another unit in the Turkish military. According to a retired commander of the HD, Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu, the pogroms against İstanbul's non-Muslims on Sept. 5-6, 1955 “were the fantastic work of the Special Warfare Center.”

    Ergenekon and anti-Christian activities

    This “fantastic” tradition continues under Ergenekon. Let us start with one of the organization's meeting places: the “Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate” (TOP). TOP was established in the early '20s with the financial support of Turkish state to fight against the Greek Orthodox Church. It is a church with no congregation. Since its inception TOP's only work was to fight against Christians in Turkey. Recently though, the main focus of TOP has been to fight against missionary activity. Sevgi Erenol, who is the spokesperson of TOP and who is in prison now in connection with the Ergenekon case, regularly gave briefings to top officials about the “missionary threat” in Turkey.

    Kemal Kerinsiz, an ultranationalist lawyer who was suing liberal intellectuals for “insulting Turkishness” and who provoked public opinion against Hrant Dink, has also brought cases against missionaries before the domestic courts. Ergn Poyraz, who is apparently responsible for Ergenekon's propaganda war and who wrote many books about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gl, accusing them having non-Muslim roots, has also published a hate-mongering book titled “Six Months Amongst Missionaries.” This latter book became the bible of the war against Protestants in Turkey. We now know from the Ergenekon file that Mr. Poyraz was actively using the archives of the gendarmerie.

    The Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) also used to publish regular paranoid reports about missionary activities. These “reports” were taken very seriously by the National Security Council (MGK), which is dominated by generals, and those reports led the MGK to declare that missionary activities were a real threat to national security in Turkey. Sinan Aygn, the chairman of the ATO since 1998, is now one of the suspects in the Ergenekon case.

    Ergenekon's mindset

    Ergenekon has a long history in Turkey, and it is not possible to go into all of it in one article. However, if you want to understand what Ergenekon is and what kind of mentality it has, just look at the Committee of Union and Progress (İTC), which was responsible for the massacres of Armenians while the Ottoman Empire was falling apart. Ergenekon has exactly the same mindset; it is the last inheritor of the İTC in Turkey. Since Turkey has never faced its dark past, it has never dissolved these shadowy structures within the state. It therefore was no coincidence that when NATO sponsored “shadow armies” (widely known as Operation Gladio), they developed very strong and deep roots in Turkey. The country is simply fertile ground for these kinds of illegal structures. In fact Turkey has never attempted to dissolve them. It is the only NATO member country that has not exposed and dissolved this organization.

    When it comes to the question of what the purpose of all these attacks and propaganda against Christians is, my conclusion would be as follows: Like its predecessor the İTC, Ergenekon also wants to “purify” Anatolia. With all these murders they were trying to send the message to the members of Christian communities in Turkey that they are not welcome in this country. On the other hand Ergenekon wants to give the impression to Turkey and the outside world that as soon as an Islamic-oriented government came to power, massacres against Christians started. Finally, with these and remaining unsuccessful murder attempts, they aim at creating obstacles to Turkey's EU path.

    Why were they specifically trying to create paranoia about missionary activity? I think this was aimed at making conservative Muslims more nationalist. They portray missionaries as the agents of “imperialism,” which seeks to divide Turkey. In this context, Protestants were used as a kind of scapegoat to provoke Muslims. The main purpose of Ergenekon, after all, is to create an obsessively nationalist country cut off from the rest of the world, and especially Europe. Turkey's democratic system and the rights of its non-Muslim minorities will be only secured if this fascist gang, and its mentality, fails.

    23 May 2009, Saturday
    ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ
    General Antranik (1865-1927): I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.

    Comment


    • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

      BTW, I'm back. After a hiatus to get business back in order I'll try to contribute more to the site.
      General Antranik (1865-1927): I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.

      Comment


      • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

        Gotta love my man Bahceli! Not only is he very intelligent, he's also clearly level headed

        http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/d...00.asp?gid=243


        PM’s ’fascist’ comment draws wrath of MHP

        ANKARA - Two main opposition parties yesterday criticized the prime minister for his description of the expulsion of ethnic identities as "fascist," with one nationalist party leader claiming the words were a "curse" on the country’s history.

        "The mindset of ( the prime minister) is clear. It’s a typical example of collaborators who questioned the Lausanne Treaty, who signed the Sevres Treaty, who feel sorry for the Independence War success and who curse our history," said Devlet Baheli.
        "What does he want to achieve by accusing Turkey? We would of course discuss what we did wrong but the duty of the prime minister is to respect the rights of Turkey," Deniz Baykal, leader of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, told his lawmakers at the parliamentary group meeting.

        Erdoğan, at a speech he held over the weekend, referred to the incidents of Sept 6 and 7 in 1955 in Istanbul when many Greek shops and houses were pillaged by crowds after false news reported that Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatrk’s house in the Thessaloniki neighborhood of Greece was burnt down. After the riots, many Greeks who were born and lived in Istanbul had to leave the city.

        "If he claims something he should do it in a clearer way so that we can discuss it," Baykal stated, arguing that Erdoğan’s purpose was to seem sympathetic to foreigners. "What he does is turn these very sad incidents, which were under very specific conditions, into a matter of accusations. I have never for example heard any intension of the prime minister to raise the issue of 60,000 Greek citizens of Turkish origin residing in Western Thrace who were expatriated [by Greece]," he said.

        Baheli argued that the prime minister’s statement constituted "a black page" in Erdoğan’s political record.

        "If he wants to rake up the past, he should start with those of neighboring countries and imperialistic powers," he said.

        Arguing that Erdoğan was insulting Turkish people and its history, Baheli asked the prime minister to apologize.
        General Antranik (1865-1927): I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.

        Comment


        • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

          Originally posted by Joseph View Post
          .......The main purpose of Ergenekon, after all, is to create an obsessively nationalist country cut off from the rest of the world, and especially Europe. Turkey's democratic system and the rights of its non-Muslim minorities will be only secured if this fascist gang, and its mentality, fails.
          23 May 2009, Saturday
          ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ
          I agree with this Turk to some degree but unless I misunderstood I am not convinced at all that religion plays any major part in Ergenekons mentality unless it can be used to its advantage. Also In my opinion they cannot be classified as a "gang". More like an imperialistic sophisticated network.

          They are a well lubricated clean lean machine carrying the torch of the original ideology behind panturkism (even without the pan) run by some of their best military leaders who have strong influence and control in the Turkish government that is already by its creation involved in a "deep State" Fascist condition with democracy as its front while capitalizing on its advantages.

          They run impressive kangaroo courts in their controlled judicial system to fool the masses of "justice served" and Turkish democracy. I bet older retiree Ergenekons jump to volunteer to be an escape goat to get the special retirement plan after these trials.
          "Grey Wolfs" is their civilian wing put to use as a propaganda tool, fresh recruitments for foot soldiers and some as triggermen for future target assassinations.

          Our blood enemy is much stronger than it appears on the surface……………..Turks themselves fatally underestimate them.

          Again these are just my opinions.
          BTW, I support Turkey in EU……..………….That will be the biggest blow to the Ergenekons.
          B0zkurt Hunter

          Comment


          • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

            Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post
            I agree with this Turk to some degree but unless I misunderstood I am not convinced at all that religion plays any major part in Ergenekons mentality unless it can be used to its advantage. Also In my opinion they cannot be classified as a "gang". More like an imperialistic sophisticated network.

            They are a well lubricated clean lean machine carrying the torch of the original ideology behind panturkism (even without the pan) run by some of their best military leaders who have strong influence and control in the Turkish government that is already by its creation involved in a "deep State" Fascist condition with democracy as its front while capitalizing on its advantages.

            They run impressive kangaroo courts in their controlled judicial system to fool the masses of "justice served" and Turkish democracy. I bet older retiree Ergenekons jump to volunteer to be an escape goat to get the special retirement plan after these trials.
            "Grey Wolfs" is their civilian wing put to use as a propaganda tool, fresh recruitments for foot soldiers and some as triggermen for future target assassinations.

            Our blood enemy is much stronger than it appears on the surface..Turks themselves fatally underestimate them.

            Again these are just my opinions.
            BTW, I support Turkey in EU...That will be the biggest blow to the Ergenekons.
            I'm acquainted with a "member" of Ergenekon who is now in exile from Turkey (a prison sentence awaits if returned). A more accurate description of Ergenekon members would be darbeci, prominent ultranationalist civilians who wish to overthrow the current AKP government through undemocratic means. Indeed, if things havent changed in Turkey in the last two decades, they would have succeeded.

            The reason why they failed is because the Turkish Armed Forces, and the Turkish State (ie, not the elected government) no longer associates itself with these people, and are even distancing itself from retired officers sympathetic with Ergenekon. Members of Ergenekon are guilty of attempting to overthrow an elected government, and this is why they are only now being arrested.

            Erdogan is an Islamist fascist but he has served his purpose by at least nominally reforming Turkey to meet EU standards (civil rights, democracy).

            The Grey Wolves really are a relic of the past now, i always viewed them through this analogy..

            MHP:Grey Wolves::ARF:ASALA. Cold war is thankfully over ....

            Comment


            • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

              Originally posted by Joseph View Post
              Gotta love my man Bahceli! Not only is he very intelligent, he's also clearly level headed
              Hey Joseph, its good to see you back! Now, hopefully the more intolerant members of this forum will stop chasing away non-troll Turks.

              Speaking of Bahceli, he is 100% ideologically MHP but really there could not be a more civil leader of the MHP. He is a moderate within the party, and under his leadership the MHP has become less prone to condoning violence by its members.

              Comment


              • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

                I don't think you want Turkey in the EU regardless. Better to keep Turkey out, eventually the Azeri's and Turks will get so angry they will explode and go into isolation, and everyone will start to ignore them. Or we can hope that anyway.

                Comment


                • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

                  egeli, the only reason we know about the Ergenekons is because of EUs exposure to this fact and requirement to disband it in order to qualify for EU. Your government is on a damage control mode trying to depict them as a small terrorist group that has nothing to do with the state. Nobody is buying it egeli. Look to what they are saying:

                  "Turkish authorities should resolutely pursue investigations into the Ergenekon affair, to fully uncover its networks reaching into the state structures and to bring those involved to justice," the draft report, prepared by Dutch Christian Democrat MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten

                  Additional requirements are

                  301: [The] Turkish government and the Parliament should carry out, as a priority, the repeatedly promised reform of Article 301 of the Penal Code; [the European Parliament] deplores the fact that no progress has been achieved regarding freedom of expression.

                  Northern Iraq: [The] Turkish government should not engage in any disproportionate military operations violating Iraqs territory; urges Turkey to respect Iraqs territorial integrity, human rights and the rule of law, and to ensure that civilian casualties are avoided; urges the government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq not to allow Iraqi territory to be used as base for terrorist acts against Turkey.

                  Kurdish Issue: [The] Turkish government should launch, as a matter of priority, a political initiative favoring a lasting settlement of the Kurdish issue, which can only be based on tangible improvements in the cultural, economic and social opportunities available to citizens of Kurdish origin, including real possibilities to learn Kurdish and to use it in broadcasting and in access to public services; calls upon the [Democratic Society Party] DTP, its members of parliament and mayors to engage constructively in the quest for a political solution to the Kurdish issue within the democratic Turkish state.

                  Armenia: [The] Turkish government should end the economic blockade and re-open its border with Armenia; calls once again on Turkish and the Armenian governments to start a process of reconciliation, in respect of the present and the past, allowing for a frank and open discussion of past events.

                  Hrant Dink murder: [The European Parliament] strongly urge[s] the Turkish authorities to carry out a full investigation into the murders of Hrant Dink and of the three Christians in Malatya, as well as all other cases of politically or religiously motivated violence, including full clarification of allegations of negligence on the part of the competent authorities, and to bring all responsible to justice.

                  Constitution: Takes note of the process under way to prepare a new, civilian constitution; regards it as a key opportunity to place the protection of human rights and freedoms at the core of the constitution.

                  http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/de...ay&link=136277


                  Originally posted by hipeter924 View Post
                  I don't think you want Turkey in the EU regardless. Better to keep Turkey out, eventually the Azeri's and Turks will get so angry they will explode and go into isolation, and everyone will start to ignore them. Or we can hope that anyway.
                  I am quite confident that Turkey could never become part of EU.............unless they stop being Turks.
                  I only said that because I understand why Greeks would say "we support Turkey in EU" because they know it will tear the fabric of their society apart.
                  B0zkurt Hunter

                  Comment


                  • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

                    Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post
                    egeli, the only reason we know about the Ergenekons is because of EUs exposure to this fact and requirement to disband it in order to qualify for EU. Your government is on a damage control mode trying to depict them as a small terrorist group that has nothing to do with the state. Nobody is buying it egeli. Look to what they are saying:

                    "Turkish authorities should resolutely pursue investigations into the Ergenekon affair, to fully uncover its networks reaching into the state structures and to bring those involved to justice," the draft report, prepared by Dutch Christian Democrat MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten

                    Additional requirements are

                    301: [The] Turkish government and the Parliament should carry out, as a priority, the repeatedly promised reform of Article 301 of the Penal Code; [the European Parliament] deplores the fact that no progress has been achieved regarding freedom of expression.

                    Northern Iraq: [The] Turkish government should not engage in any disproportionate military operations violating Iraqs territory; urges Turkey to respect Iraqs territorial integrity, human rights and the rule of law, and to ensure that civilian casualties are avoided; urges the government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq not to allow Iraqi territory to be used as base for terrorist acts against Turkey.

                    Kurdish Issue: [The] Turkish government should launch, as a matter of priority, a political initiative favoring a lasting settlement of the Kurdish issue, which can only be based on tangible improvements in the cultural, economic and social opportunities available to citizens of Kurdish origin, including real possibilities to learn Kurdish and to use it in broadcasting and in access to public services; calls upon the [Democratic Society Party] DTP, its members of parliament and mayors to engage constructively in the quest for a political solution to the Kurdish issue within the democratic Turkish state.

                    Armenia: [The] Turkish government should end the economic blockade and re-open its border with Armenia; calls once again on Turkish and the Armenian governments to start a process of reconciliation, in respect of the present and the past, allowing for a frank and open discussion of past events.

                    Hrant Dink murder: [The European Parliament] strongly urge[s] the Turkish authorities to carry out a full investigation into the murders of Hrant Dink and of the three Christians in Malatya, as well as all other cases of politically or religiously motivated violence, including full clarification of allegations of negligence on the part of the competent authorities, and to bring all responsible to justice.

                    Constitution: Takes note of the process under way to prepare a new, civilian constitution; regards it as a key opportunity to place the protection of human rights and freedoms at the core of the constitution.

                    http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/de...ay&link=136277




                    I am quite confident that Turkey could never become part of EU.............unless they stop being Turks.
                    I only said that because I understand why Greeks would say "we support Turkey in EU" because they know it will tear the fabric of their society apart.
                    Your response had nothing to do with my post, so my response will have nothing to do with yours.


                    This is an assumption, but i feel you have very little knowledge or familarity with Turkey's domestic politics. Everything you know about Turks is from an impersonal distance. Your entire view of Turks is a construction born out of your Glendale roots.

                    It reminds me of the constructed view many Turks have of Armenians. Too many Turkish people associate Armenians only with the atrocious murdering your Californian kin openly supported, and in some cases participated in, of Turkish diplomats.

                    The most rational members of this forum have some personal contact/experience with Turks. I suggest you visit the country.
                    Last edited by egeli; 06-06-2009, 10:57 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

                      Originally posted by egeli View Post
                      Your response had nothing to do with my post, so my response will have nothing to do with yours.


                      This is an assumption, but i feel you have very little knowledge or familarity with Turkey's domestic politics. Everything you know about Turks is from an impersonal distance. Your entire view of Turks is a construction born out of your Glendale roots.

                      It reminds me of the constructed view many Turks have of Armenians. Too many Turkish people associate Armenians only with the atrocious murdering your Californian kin openly supported, and in some cases participated in, of Turkish diplomats.

                      The most rational members of this forum have some personal contact/experience with Turks. I suggest you visit the country.
                      Epic Fail. If we had to visit every country to make an opinion. You would have no right to discuss democracy till you visited Greece, no right to discuss the Armenian Genocide without visiting Armenia, and no right to discuss an American movie because you are not from America. That argument is simply retarded. I read up on the Armenian Genocide (from books written by French, Armenians and so forth) and believe it happened. I don't need to be told I have to visit Armenia or Turkey to find out what I already know happened.

                      Go back to school. They should have taught you there that you can find out the truth through reading books from people that actually live there...you don't need to visit their countries.
                      Last edited by hipeter924; 06-07-2009, 04:21 AM.

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