A rally in support of Turkish journalist Baris Terkoglu in Brussels recalls the crackdown in Turkey by Erdogan's Islamist government …
Luc MICHEL for PCN-NCP-AMKP /
with Belga – Le Monde – AFP – Hürriyet Daily News – Observatory of Turkish politics – PCN-SPO / 2012.07.09 /
A demonstration was held on late June 28th late morning in front of the Turkish Embassy in Brussels to express its support for the Turkish journalist Baris Terkoglu, held for 500 days in an Istanbul prison, noted the agency Belga .
JOURNALISTS IMPRISONED BY THE ISLAMISTS TO HAVE DONE THEIR JOB
BarisTerkoglu, 31, is the editor of the website Odatv. He was arrested on February 14, 2011 at his home and is accused of "belonging to a terrorist organization", in fact having criticized the Islamists of the AKP and their plot to destroy the Kemalist Republic in Turkey. According to the Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP), at the initiative of Thursday's rally, the Turkish authorities accused him of "having informed his readers about the revolts in Arab countries and on the ERGENEKON case (* ), the name of a military organization which, according to authorities, had planned a coup ". The pretext for the AKP to clean the Army and the state apparatus and its Kemalist and secular elements.
It is also alleged that Mr Terkoglu has released a photograph showing at the same table in a restaurant the police officers who conducted the investigation, the prosecutor and the presiding judge before whom the rigged trial by AKP of Ergenekon was to open, says the AJP. You have said press freedom?
At a hearing on June 18, the journalist was able to respond to the accusations against him, but his trial was postponed to 14 September and his pretrial detention prolonged. The AJP, which "adopted" Baris Terkoglu as part of a campaign of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), demands the immediate release of hundreds of journalists detained wrongfully in Turkey and the revision of the Turkish Anti-Terrorism law. "It is inconceivable that a country so close to Europe imprisons journalists who are working to inform and maintain them so long in custody awaiting a fair trial," said the association.
In an interview on March 12, 2011 in the English-language daily "Hurriyet Daily News," the former president and former Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel, did not hesitate to throw a caution against the appearance "of an Empire of Fear. " Noting that "even prominent journalists reported being afraid now, and that the impression of foreign observers was that now it becomes dangerous to be a journalist in Turkey", he called the AKP government to "listen to criticism from European and international institutions, considering that, in a world where national legislation must respect the universal principles, they were in no way a violation of Turkish sovereignty. "
THE “ERGENEKON” CASE
The Ergenekon case has shaked Turkey since 2009.
More than thirty people, including academics, journalists and retired generals, were arrested in Turkey, as part of an investigation on Ergenekon, in fact a large witch hunt against secularists and Kemalists, launched by Erdogan's Islamist government. Including an ongoing campaign aimed at bringing to heel and intimidating the Turkish press, the police regularly raiding the editors of several newspapers and publishing houses. The pretext: a pseudo "organization" accused "of plotting a coup to overthrow the government from the Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan." Late 2011, already 18 waves of arrests in this case! Each wave is denounced by many demonstrations in the streets of Istanbul …
The suspects arrested include in particular a prominent retired general, Tuncer Kilinç. In October 2009, began a first trial on the 86 people – retired officers, journalists, politicians – accused of wanting to "destabilize the country with violent actions to prepare the ground for a military coup".
Applauded by pro-government and liberal circles which see it as "a breakthrough in the fight against political and mafia networks" (sic), the investigation of the network was criticized by the pro-secularism current as a maneuver by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to silence its opponents. Note that the Liberals and EU politicians support the Islamists of the AKP – model pupils of NATO – in their efforts to destroy the secular, modern and European foundations of the Kemalist Republic.
These crackdowns lead "to wonder also, not only on the future of the case" Ergenekon ", but also in other legal proceedings alleging conspiracy, which were the spearhead of the government's fight against the political-military establishment, since 2007, "analyzes the Observatory of Turkish politics.
PENETRATION OF THE TURKISH STATE APPARATUS BY THE ISLAMIST BROTHERHOODS
The crisis between the Islamists and the journalists took its true light on March 24, 2011, when police raided the editorial offices of several newspapers and publishing houses, to capture the manuscript of a book that a journalist Ahmet Sik was about to publish, before his incarceration. This book, entitled "The army of the Imam" (İmamın Ordusu), denounces indeed the penetration of the state apparatus by the Islamist Brotherhood FETHÜLLAH GÜLEN. Which Erdogan has been a leader of.
This new episode confirmed the political motivations of the legal action taken against journalists. Indeed, concerns about the extension of the influence of this brotherhood, close to the government, in public administration and especially the police, have increased since the publication in August 2011 of a second book of Hanefi Avcı "Haliç'te Yaşayan Simonlar" on the same theme. This former police chief of Eskişehir, who denounced in this book (becoming in a few days a bestseller in Turkey) the infiltration of the police by the "Fetthullahcı", was also promptly arrested on the basis of a motive for obscure charges (aiding and abetting a far-left organization off-the-law) before being accused, he as well, of collusion with the network "Ergenekon."
"Therefore, the arrest of Ahmet Sik and the brutal seizure of the manuscript of his book reinforced the idea that the "Ergenekon" case is now used increasingly as a pretext to justify arrests against persons or journalists denouncing certain current abuses of the government, especially its complacency with regard to the infiltration and activism of the networks of Fethullah Gülen”, said the Observatory of Turkish politics. "The seizure of the manuscript of Ahmet Sik was additionally a heavy blunder" of the prosecution at the hands of the AKP, "the banned book is online on the Internet and its publication will further strengthen the suspicion against the government, by revealing what the latter had begun to make disappear”.
And there is not only Ahmet Sik. A judge investigating the Fethullah Gülen network was thrown into prison. Like Hanefi Avcı, former police chief for a book on this brotherhood and its ramifications …
TURKEY DIVIDED BETWEEN THE AKP AND THE KEMALISTS
The Ergenekon trial is a reflection of the divisions that undermine Turkey for years. In the background, oppose the main players in the Turkish political scene.
On the one hand, the AKP (Party of Justice and Development) is an Islamic-conservative party, in power since 2002, coming from religious brotherhoods and close to the Muslim Brotherhood in various Arab countries including Egypt and Libya. The movement of the Prime Minister Erdogan emerged winner of the parliamentary elections in July 2007, with 46.47% of votes, then brought the Islamist Abdullah Gül as President of the Republic in August 2007.
On the other hand, the Kemalist loose conglomeration brings together all those who lay claim to the political legacy of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, said Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the secular Turkish Republic. Kemalism defends secular, European and nationalist values. It is embodied as well by parties like CHP (left nationalist) than by the executives of the army, the administration or the judiciary. The Kemalists rightly accuse the AKP of undermining the secular state. And the Ergenekon case, says the Observatory of Turkish politics, has led to "the mobilization of an active civil society and especially vigilant."
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(*) After one of the main myths of the Turkish nation.
The specialist Etienne Copeaux explains the origins of the myth: "The use of historical or legendary themes of Upper Asia begins with the legend of Ergenekon. This term refers to the mythical place that would be the place of origin of the celestial Turks, located somewhere in the Khangai Mountains where is the source of the Orkhon. The legend resembles that of Romulus and Remus: the ancestor of the celestial Turks would be a child, sole survivor of a group of proto-Turks, abandoned in that place of Ergenekon, who allegedly was collected and fed by a she-wolf. The "Turkish people" once reconstituted from this miraculous rebirth, would have established there a first civilization, domesticated fire, discovered the art of forging. From this place of Ergenekon, the celestial Turks would have spread, founding in particular the " empire of the celestial Turks" that would have controlled much of Inner Asia. Fire, iron, forge, wolves are the ingredients of the legend. At the beginning of the republic (1923) the she-wolf or the wolf (there is no gender in Turkish) has served as a symbol of the new regime, it referred to the Ergenekon legend, referring to the "original home" of Central Asia, and contributed to root the republic in a Öztürk past, "authentically Turkish". During the prohibition, under Atatürk, of any expression of pan-Turkism, it had become marginalized and radicalized. The image of the wolf has then ceased to be an official symbol to be hijacked by the extreme right, and used by extremist journals (…)
However, observed since the early 1990s, a distribution of these symbols and eponymous outside of the extreme right, in more moderate nationalist circles, and even in government circles, for example, Hasan Celal Güzel, Chairman of the Renaissance Party (Yeniden Dogus Partisi) discussed the need for Turkey of a revival and of a "second Ergenekon" … "
"The juxtaposition of the two eras," the myth and that of Kemalism, "gives a modern, advanced character to Turkish societies of the past; as they have the same qualities as today, they can produce the same effects: they are seen as secular, tolerant, democratic societies, where men and women are equal, as organized societies, conscious of themselves, where a national sentiment is seen”.
Cfr. Copeaux Etienne, ESPACES ET TEMPS DE LA NATION TURQUE. ANALYSE D’UNE HISTORIOGRAPHIE NATIONALISTE 1931-1993, Paris, CNRS Editions, 1997, p. 157-165.
Photo: Kemalist secular demonstration in Istanbul denouncing the U.S. hand behind the repression of the AKP & some people arrested