State agent's confessions reveal alleged work of Turkey's deep state
ISTANBUL - Daily News with Radikal | 3/24/2011 12:00:00 AM |
Confessions by a former special operative to Radikal have convinced prosecutors to open an investigation into a number of unsolved political and mass murders.
Confessions by a former special operative to Turkish daily Radikal have convinced prosecutors to open an investigation into a number of unsolved political and mass murders from the preceding decades.
“We were all covered in blood. Such horrible things were done to people [in the southeast],” Ahmet Çarkın, 49, told the daily, confessing to being part of state groups that committed criminal acts in the struggle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
Çarkın spoke about a series of deep state operations that included hundreds of deaths and said he would reveal more to prosecutors if a formal case were opened.
Çarkın attended Nevruz, a celebration of the arrival of spring, in Istanbul on Sunday where he was noticed by the press and spoke to the daily Radikal afterwards.
Today, “a killer” by his own definition, Çarkın was interviewed on CNNTürk and asked whether the people in the operations in which he participated had committed any summary executions.
“There were” he said. “If this blood was spilled, it was spilled by the hand of the state.”
Çarkın, who was accused of killing 91 people in the past, said he was now listening to the voice of his conscience.
Çarkın who served as a special operative for 19 years, first became known to the public with the Susurluk scandal, which exposed the links between the police, mafia and politicians and emerged after a car accident in the town of Susurluk, in the northwestern province of Balıkesir, on Oct. 3, 1996. A former police chief, high-profile criminal Abdullah Çatlı and Sedat Bucak, a Kurdish landlord and deputy from the True Path Party, or DYP, were all found in the crashed car, along with several weapons and identity cards. “That accident was a turning point for me, there I knew we were betrayed,” said Çarkın, arguing the incident was not an accident but a successful attempt to kill Çatlı.
The Susurluk investigation started after the accident resulted in great public interest but did not go further than a few minor offenders being sentenced to minor prison terms. Çarkın was tried and sentenced to four years for “gang membership.”
However, his recent statements led to a application offered to Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office with Special Authority and the second round for the judicial battle to reveal the deep state is expected soon after the investigation concludes. Lawyers Ergin Cinmen and Taylan Tanay, who took part in legal processes of several deep state-related trials in the 1990s, expressed hope to the daily Radikal.
[HH] ‘Not anti-terror struggle but treason’
Çarkın said he was among one of 320 special operations fighters sent to southeastern Turkey in 1986 and remained active there until 1990.
“I saw planes used against people. You use artillery, tanks and landmines against your own people. This fire will burn us all. We [literally] made these people eat sh*t. We pulled their nails off, forbade their language. We did this,” Çarkın said, adding that Turkey needed its Kurds, who deserved an apology.
“Now, mass graves are being found everywhere. Call them guerillas, call them terrorists, these mass graves are the shame of this country,” he said.
Çarkın claimed the Pınarcık Massacre on June 20, 1987, in Mardin province – in which a total of 30 people, 16 of them minors and some of those infants were murdered – was not committed by the PKK, as originally claimed. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
“I went to that village. The smell of blood and gunpowder were everywhere. The Pınarcık Massacre was actualized by groups formed by JİTEM for means of provocation.”
JİTEM, an intelligence unit of the gendarmerie never officially recognized by the military was behind many other actions indirectly and evaluated the Başbağlar Massacre when 33 civilians were murdered on June 5, 1993, as “a definite product of the Ergenekon mentality.”
[HH] Real Ergenekon members not tried
Çarkın said he would reveal everything if “a commission of seeking the truth” were founded.
“I swear I will tell [about] the people with me, the ones who betrayed this country. But others should come to that commission too, Mehmet Ağar, İbrahim Şahin and more others,” he said.
Şahin is former head of Special Operations Unit and an Ergenekon suspect trying to gain immunity by proving he is not sane. Ağar is a former general chief of police, one-time DYP leader and former interior minister. He could not be tried during the Susurluk incident due to parliamentary immunity and has currently been on trial since 2009. Ağar is being accused of connections to alleged crimes committed not only in southeastern Turkey but all over.
The Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang known accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup initially by spreading chaos and mayhem. It is allegedly an extension of the “deep state,” an unofficial organization within the state that operated above the elected governments since the Cold War.
“Ergenekon is the origin of us all,” said Çarkın and added that the true Ergenekon members were not under arrest despite the ongoing case. “They are all free.”