From the papers

HDN | 10/30/1999 12:00:00 AM |

Lack of pride From an Oct. 29 article by Hurriyet's Mumtaz Soysal, a former foreign minister: States collapse due to a variety of factors -- of which the most dangerous may be an insidious climate caused by a certain ignorance, indifference, incompetence and lack of vision on the part of the state administrators. Rather than putting public resources to good use one may, with a "The state must withdraw from the realm of economic activity. It must be trimmed. Let us make it smaller but

Lack of pride

From an Oct. 29 article

by Hurriyet's Mumtaz Soysal, a former foreign minister:

States collapse due to a variety of factors -- of which the most dangerous may be an insidious climate caused by a certain ignorance, indifference, incompetence and lack of vision on the part of the state administrators.

Rather than putting public resources to good use one may, with a "The state must withdraw from the realm of economic activity. It must be trimmed. Let us make it smaller but stronger," mentality, sap the state's strength and cause it to surrender to economic powers outside the state. In other words, efforts aimed at streamlining the state and rendering it more strong, may thus backfire, robbing the state of its economic resources.

Another danger the republic is faced with is hard to describe. A state which has contempt for its own laws and the verdicts of its own courts, may, due to this disdainful attitude, seem very powerful at first glance. In truth, such an attitude would weaken the very foundations of the state.

Using the Aug. 17 quake as a pretext we have decided against staging glorious ceremonies to mark the Republic Day this year -- probably because, deep down, we know that the strength of the state is being sapped, and we cannot feel proud of the republic.

The 76th anniversary

From an Oct. 29 article

by Hurriyet's Sedat Ergin:

A great part of Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Vural Savas's recent statement was justified. But some of his arguments were contradictory. He wants, in the name of the state, restrictions on civil liberties. But at the same time, he acknowledges the helplessness of the civilian wing of the state mechanism.

Also, he expresses an absolute lack of confidence in Parliament as an institution. If he is rejecting that institution he must specify what kind of substitute he has in mind.

The republic will overcome the current threats within the democratic system despite the inadequacy of its current staff.

Those old tapes

From an Oct. 29 article

by Radikal's Ismet Berkan:

Is it a coincidence that "olive king" Erol Evcil, who had been hiding in Bursa, was apprehended after Orhan Tasanlar was replaced as Bursa governor? Evcil has been captured all of a sudden at a time [godfather] Alaattin Cakici is coming home from France where he is imprisoned. This has greatly upset the persons whose names came up in the series of Cakici's taped conversations of the cassettes of which had been leaked to the press in the recent past.

Protect Evcil well

From an Oct. 29 article

by Sabah's Gungor Mengi:

Erol Evcil was one of the key actors in the blood-and-black-money operations of which we had a glimpse when a truck hit a car in Susurluk. We had believed him to be abroad. Now we learn that he had been hiding in Bursa for a year. The Bursa police captured him by staging a raid on a house in an area which is under the jurisdiction of the gendarmerie [which is responsible to the governor] without informing the gendarmerie officials.

For any government which is determined to rid the state mechanism of gangs, Evcil would constitute a priceless treasure. He has the answers which would clarify many an obscure issue involving the missing Susurluk weapons, the "moneylender" Nesim Malki murder, the Turkbank privatization scandal and the infighting which had plagued the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in the past.

The government must protect Evcil well. This is because half -- if not more -- of the persons who would want to silence him must be within the state mechanism.

The Kislali assassination and the Evcil operation

From an Oct. 29 article

by Milliyet's Derya Sazak:

Referring to the assassination of former Culture Minister Ahmet Taner Kislali, ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz made to daily Sabah remarks along the lines of, "This case will definitely be solved. Significant progress has been made in the investigation. An analysis of the bomb has indicated that the culprit is the Islamic Raiders of the Great Eastern Front (IBDA/C). Information obtained from detained members of the organization also indicates this. It has been found out that the persons who organized it are Iranian. Those persons are now in Germany." He thus underlined the responsibility that falls on Germany.

Yilmaz suspects that the attack may have been planned with the aim of disrupting Turco-Iranian relations. This is why his suspicions focus on IBDA/C. Meanwhile, Fehriye Erdal, the key name in the Ozdemir Sabanci assassination, has been apprehended in Belgium [after reportedly being detained but later released in Germany]. Can this be the finale of a Germany-related scenario?

Let us come to the gangs issue. During the time an ANAP official was prime minister, Erol Evcil wielded enough influence to have certain persons appointed to high-level positions in the MIT from the "contingency" of godfather Alaattin Cakici! He had friends in the party. He was able to get millions of dollars worth of loans from state banks. He made bids for state enterprises to be privatized. He assigned his planes for diverse purposes, transporting arms and taking Cabinet ministers to and from their constituencies to facilitate their election campaigns.

If he decides to talk he can reveal the political roots of the black money traffic which extends all the way to Susurluk and the mafia system in which trillions change hands overnight.

Republic forever

HURRIYET devoted its entire front page to a picture of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, on the 76th anniversary of the republic. The caption quoted Ataturk as saying: "The Turkish Republic is a state built on a foundation of democracy. And democracy, basically, depends on a political mentality. It involves thinking, and it is individualistic. It involves a love of equality." A HURRIYET headline said: "Messages of unity -- President Suleyman Demirel says: 'Let us not be swayed by provocations. Neither religion nor secularism is about to be lost.' Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, 'It is the common will of the nation to make our republic survive with all of its institutions.' Chief of the General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu said, 'We are the guarantee of the democratic and secular state, of the territories of the homeland, and of peace and tranquillity'." MILLIYET published a picture of the "Peace Train" travelling all around the country, with the caption saying, "Not just for 76 years or for 176 years, but forever -- This journey will not end." SABAH said, "Long live the republic!" ZAMAN said, "Proudly entering the 76th year."

A censorship-free republic

YENI SAFAK said: "Many happy returns -- A repressive mentality debases the republic with censorship, restrictions and pressures. These anachronistic pressures do not suit Turkey on its 76th anniversary. Daily AKIT [an Islamic newspaper] premises were raided by the police yesterday. At Istanbul's Marmara University 19 girls were manhandled and detained when they insisted on entering the campus with headscarves on."

Celebrated by the people

CUMHURIYET said: "The 76th year of the republic is being marked in the spirit of 1923. Criticizing the Prime Ministry circular according to which this year's official Republic Day events will be limited to state officials' visits to Anitkabir [Ataturk's mausoleum], nongovernmental organizations [NGOs] have decided to stage rallies and torchlight marches in Ankara and Istanbul."

Evcil and his cellular phone

HURRIYET said: "Erol Evcil [main suspect in Nesim Malki assassination case that came to be linked with the so-called Susurluk state gang scandal] was located when he used his cellular phone. Breathtaking simultaneous operations were staged on the villas of Evcil's former technical director Hasan Karakurt and the latter's sister. Also, textile manufacturer Huseyin Silahci, a former chairman of Bursaspor soccer club, has been detained."

Evcil captured thanks to Tantan

SABAH said: "When he became interior minister, Sadettin Tantan determined that Erol Evcil, who had eluded police for two years, was in Bursa. He brought the governor of the province, Orhan Tasanlar, to Ankara to become a governor without portfolio, and he shifted the province's police chief, Kemal Bayrak, to a position in Malatya. Then he pushed the button for the operation. Tantan's insistence on having Tasanlar and Bayrak appointed to new jobs caused a controversy. The decree replacing these two officials had been sent back and forth several times between the Prime Ministry and the Presidential Palace. It had taken Tantan three months to drive Tasanlar and Bayrak out of Bursa."

Who had protected him in Bursa for a year?

RADIKAL said: "Reply to that question, Mr. Governor. It has been determined that Erol Evcil had been hiding in Bursa for a year. Orhan Tasanlar had been the governor of Bursa until Sept. 30, 1999. Also, the province's police chief has been replaced. For the first time Bursa has a police chief who was not handpicked by certain businessmen. As a result Evcil has been captured. As soon as he took office the province's new police chief staged a top-secret midnight operation and apprehended Evcil in the summer home where he was hiding."

Evcil talks

RADIKAL said: "Erol Evcil is being interrogated by Prime Ministry and Finance Ministry inspectors and officials of various departments including the National Intelligence Organization [MIT], the Gendarmerie, the General Directorate of Security and the Istanbul Police. He has started talking, saying, 'Even though I may not be able to document what I say, I will recount everything.' He has admitted that he ordered the assassination of 'moneylender' Nesim Malki. He stressed the roles of two hit men, Burhanettin Turkes and Oguz Isikli. He disclosed the amounts of bribes he paid to obtain loans from a number of banks including Is Bank, giving the names of the bank officials with whom he vacationed. He gave detailed information about the loans he obtained from Turkbank, the partnerships he formed with [godfather currently imprisoned in France Alaattin] Cakici and the political support he received during the time he served as Cakici's secret cashier."

Erdogan in return for the murderer

RADIKAL said: "The Virtue Party [FP] and the Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] have reached a deal regarding the amnesty bill. [Former pro-MHP activist] Haluk Kirci, who was given seven death sentences for a political massacre that came to be called the Bahcelievler massacre, will be pardoned. In turn, the MHP has presented a motion aimed at lifting the political ban on former Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had been elected to that position from the FP. The MHP motion, which would amend Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code [TCK] to reduce Erdogan's ban from five years to one year, was adopted by a subcommittee created by Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee, which is currently drafting a revised version of the vetoed amnesty bill."

Akkol located

HURRIYET said, "The third suspect in the murder of businessman Ozdemir Sabanci has been traced to an address in Amsterdam, and a letter has been sent to Dutch authorities asking for his arrest, according to Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan."

Kavakci gets married

SABAH said: "Merve Kavakci -- [who was elected to Parliament from the FP] in the April 18 election, caused a storm by attempting to take the oath with her headscarf on and was soon thereafter stripped of Turkish citizenship on the grounds that she had acquired U.S. citizenship without securing permission from Turkish authorities] -- reportedly married a businessman from Sivas in Istanbul on the night of Oct. 28. Istanbul Mayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna performed the ceremony. Her marriage to Bekir Yildirim, an engineer, would enable her to regain Turkish citizenship."

6,000 gold coins

SABAH said: "We will be serializing as of Sunday the memoirs of Ataturk's confidant Kilic Ali, shedding light on some secret parts of the history of the Turkish War of Liberation. British authorities had decided to liquidate Ataturk. A British spy, Noel, gave 6,000 gold coins to Harput Governor Ali Galip to finance the assassination project. But when Ataturk sent a military force to Harput, the governor fled, leaving behind the money. Thus the money paid out to have Ataturk assassinated actually financed part of the Turkish War of Liberation."

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