Coup opponents hold debate on Ergenekon investigation
A group of nongovernmental organizations debated the ongoing investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine network accused of undermining the state, in a panel discussion held on Tuesday at Istanbul’s Taxim Hill Hotel.
The panel, organized by the 70 Million Steps Against Coups coalition, brought together several civil society organizations opposing coup attempts and anti-democratic schemes. The participants condemned those attempting to influence the investigation into Ergenekon and called for more respect for the judiciary and the judicial process. Ergenekon is a clandestine terrorist network charged with attempting to overthrow the government. Dozens of its suspected members have been detained or arrested so far, among whom are retired and active army officers, businessmen and journalists.
Mustafa Karaalioglu, editor-in-chief of the Star daily, said it was hard to understand why some sections of society were opposed to the Ergenekon investigation. He noted that as the investigation deepens, the fractures within the clandestine organization will deepen.
The chairman of the Revolutionary Socialist Workers’ Party (DSIP), Dogan Tarkan, said the attempts to end the Ergenekon investigation will be stronger in the days ahead. "The investigation should go to the end. The ammunition and weapons discovered have shown the objectives of the organization," he stated.
The discovery of a large amount of ammunition and weapons in isolated places over recent weeks and the assassination plots uncovered in the homes of Ergenekon suspects showed that the group was planning to murder Alevi and Armenian community leaders, the prime minister and members of the Supreme Court of Appeals — acts that would have dragged Turkey into chaos had they been carried out. Actress Lale Mansur, one of the members of the 70 Million Steps Against Coups coalition, expressed her happiness with the success of the Ergenekon investigation so far.
Democratic Society Party (DTP) Istanbul deputy Sabahat Tuncel also delivered a speech at the panel discussion and called on the government to shed light on the unsolved murders. "I come from a society which has several victims in unsolved murders. I support the Ergenekon investigation and want it to go to the very end. I hope the investigation will take us to a brilliant Turkey," she stated.
Tuncel also claimed that the reason behind the formation of Ergenekon was the Kurdish problem. "People believed for several years that members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] deserved to die. More and more dead bodies have been removed from acid wells. We should not accept all this [injustice]. We have to eliminate those who sow the seeds of hatred among the public," she remarked.