with Belga – Le Monde – AFP – Hürriyet Daily News – Observatory of Turkish politics – PCN-SPO / 2013 08 08 /


The facade of the darling of Washington and Brussels, the good pupil of NATO, the model of the "Greater Middle East" made in the USA, is cracking at high speed.

The U.S. – which inspires the repression against the Kemalists – and the EU – which is silent – silent against the dictatorial drift of the Erdogan regime in Turkey.


Some 275 defendants, including 66 in custody, were considered since October 2008 as part of the Ergenekon case, the first of a long series of controversial lawsuit to thwart alleged plots against the Islamic-conservative government.


Turkish "justice" delivered this August 5, 2013 heavy penalties, including at least 16 sentences of life imprisonment, against members of the pseudo " Ergenekon putsch network " – AFP today has dishonored itself by forgetting these quotes – in a trial legitimately denounced by the opposition as a witch hunt.


The court of Silivri, about fifty kilometers west of Istanbul – the Islamist regime having avoided the economic capital – in particular sentenced to life imprisonment the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Ilker Basbug, for "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order by force." The former soldier said "to be in accord with his conscience" and predicts that "the people will have the last word" in a statement released at the end of the trial.


Other former generals, as the former head of the gendarmerie Sener Eruygur and former head of the First Army Hürsit Tolon, journalist Tuncay Özkan and the leader of the small Workers' Party (IP, nationalist) Dogu Perinçek have also been sentenced to life imprisonment. The renowned journalist from the left-wing daily Cumhuriyet Mustafa Balbay, elected during his detention deputy of the main opposition party, the CHP (pro-secularism), was sentenced to 35 years

imprisonment. Also elected CHP, former Rector Mehmet Haberal was sentenced to 12 ½ years imprisonment.




The Islamist government declined comment after leaving the Council of Ministers in Ankara. "We respect the court's decision," dared to declare to the press the spokesman of the government Bulent Arinç. While the AKP is the conductor of the rigged trial and punishment.


Concerning the conviction of Mustafa Balbay, the chairman in Turkey of the Pen Association, Tarik Günersel, said that it was "a scandal". "This is a political decision," added the Norwegian publisher William Nygaard, also a member of the International PEN association. "The sentences show that Turkey does not respect human rights," he told AFP.


An important security service was deployed around the court, with hundreds of police and anti-riot gendarmes supported by tanks and water cannons. For the freedom to manifest is as justice questioned under Erdogan's authoritarian regime.


Clashes nevertheless were held on August 5 at midday between protesters and police near Silivri, on a highway linking Istanbul to Tekirdag. Police responded to the stone throwing by water jets and tear gas, according to an AFP photographer, who estimated about 10,000 the number of demonstrators.


The reading of the verdict by the presiding judge, an unworthy magistrate to orders, Hasan Hüseyin Özese, and his assistants, was greeted by an outcry of the audience, however reduced by decision of the court to the defendants, their lawyers, journalists and parliamentarians.


"Cursed be the dictatorship of the AKP," chanted lawyers and MP’s, booing the Party of Justice and Development (AKP) in power, denounced by the secular opposition as the sponsor of this trial to silence critics against Erdogan.


Shortly before the entering of the court, Mr. Balbay harangued the audience, denouncing "an entirely political trial" and promising a "hot autumn" of political protest in the cities of Turkey, after three weeks of unprecedented antigovernment protests in June.


The Ergenekon trial and its avatars are part of the efforts of the Islamic government to limit the constitutional role of the military, guardian of Kemalist secular institutions, in public life. For the advocates of secularism and human rights activists, these trials are primarily a mounting designed to remove the opponents from the political field. These critics call into question the validity of the evidence and the use of anonymous witnesses.




The Ergenekon network was supposedly discovered in June 2007 during an anti-terrorist operation in the slums of Istanbul. Weapons and explosives were discovered, first step of a long investigation that led to the drafting of 23 successive acts of accusation – several thousand pages – finally together in one trial. Several other lawsuits against groups of supposed "conspirators" were also open after Ergenekon. First trial to reach a verdict, Balyoz (Sledgehammer) had already surprised by the severity of sentences.


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.




The presence of numerous journalists, including those sentenced this August 5, reveals the desire to muzzle the press.


A prime example?

The Odatv file! Turkish journalist Baris Terkoglu, held 578 days in a jail of Istanbul, BarisTerkoglu 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 the authorities, had planned a coup ". The pretext for the AKP to clean the Army and the state apparatus of 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?


After 578 days of detention, the Turkish journalist Baris Terkoglu was released from prison. However, he is still charged in the case said Odatv, the name of the Web site for which he worked before his arrest.


His record shows the methods of the political police of the AKP.

With thirteen other people, three of whom are still in jail – the journalist Soner Yalçin, the writer Yalçin Küçük, and the ex-policeman Hanevi Avci – Baris Terkoglu is charged with supporting a draft military coup in Turkey in the nebula case called "Ergenekon". Documents recorded on his computer, seized on February 14, 2011, seemed to confirm the charge, "but the review of the hard drives of various computers, requested by the defense revealed that the computers had been" cracked "and the documents in question were neither created nor read or modified by users. An official report confirmed the hacking, but not formally established when the documents were created, "commented Belga.


The director of Odatv, Yalçin Küçük, remains incarcerated since March 6, 2011, and also risk life imprisonment under the Ergenekon case. The thirteen defendants of this case are blamed for having lent a hand to the Ergenekon organization by trying to discredit the case through articles published on the site odatv.com and books published or in preparation.


During the hearing, Yalçin Küçük strongly criticized the "baseless" indictment indicating that the editor of Odatv, Baris Pehlivan, visited him several times in order to receive instructions. Yalçın Küçük replied that he had seen Baris Pehlivan once in his life before being imprisoned, and this during an interview with CNN Türk, entitled "I was there" (Oradaydim). According to the journalist, "the political affairs are likely to scare the judges and even if the defendants are acquitted, the pieces of evidence used against them will follow them throughout their lives." "In political matters, no one can know his crime, nor the poet Nazim Hikmet, nor Tuncay Özkan, even after years of detention”.




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 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 …




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 Atatürk, 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."




Version française sur :




(*) 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”.





Photo: Kemalist secular demonstration in Istanbul denouncing the U.S. hand behind the repression of the AKP & some people arrested in connection with Energekon

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