Former spy chief denies coup claims

Former spy chief denies coup claims

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Former spy chief denies coup claims

The 76-year-old retired general, Koman is currently has been under arrest since June 2012 for his alleged role in the ongoing Feb 28 post-modern coup.

A former head of the country’s intelligence agency and gendarmerie forces said yesterday that he had never heard of an organization called Ergenekon during his testimony at the coup-plot trial in Silivri.

Seen as a key witness in the trial, Teoman Koman served as the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) between 1988 and 1992 and as the gendarmerie forces commander until 1997.

Koman told the court he had never met the jailed leader of the Workers’ Party (İP), Doğu Perinçek, who is a suspect in the trial, and “never heard of an organization called Ergenekon.”

Perinçek showed Koman an alleged organizational schema of the Ergenekon group, which was offered as evidence in the indictment, and asked if it could be real.

Koman said the schema and list of people were far from being realistic.

“Many unrelated people are on the same list, and I am shown as the third from the top, I was shown as second before,” he said mockingly.

Actions during post

Although Koman testified as a witness, most questions directed to him were about his actions during his service.

The 76-year-old retired general, who is currently under arrest for his alleged role in the ongoing Feb. 28 post-modern coup, denied all allegations regarding his “leadership role in the alleged Ergenekon organization and Turkish Hizbullah,” which has no links with the Lebanese Hezbollah and is considered responsible for many unsolved murders in the southeast of Turkey during the 1990s.

When the chief judge asked Koman about the “deep state,” alleged to be a group of influential anti-democratic coalitions within the Turkish political system, composed of high-level elements within the army and intelligence service, he said “there is no thing called the ‘deep state’ in Turkey, there is a shallow state only. The deep state has no activities in Turkey.”

The chief judge then asked Koman what he knew about the Gladio in Turkey and the retired general said NATO had found some structures in member countries and the one in Turkey was allegedly called Ergenekon.

Koman also denied the existence of an official decision to establish a separate intelligence unit in the gendarmerie.

“I have heard of it [JİTEM] but when I said it did not exist, a fuss happened. It was founded as a unit within the gendarmerie’s intelligence service. But it’s not a state institution. Then [the General Staff] issued an order about it saying JİTEM did not exist. Some staff who were in charge in southeastern Anatolia founded it among themselves, this was forbidden and I forbade it as well,” he said during his testimony.

Koman was also questioned about his relationship with retired Gen. Veli Küçük. Most of the bodies in unsolved murders were found near in İzmit in the 1990s, when Küçük was the provincial gendarmerie commander.