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Cablegate: Turkey: Ergenekon Investigation Inextricably

VZCZCXRO8472
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHAK #0680/01 1011044
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101044Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5864
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 1193
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RHMFISS/39ABG CP INCIRLIK AB TU
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/425ABG IZMIR TU//CC//
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000680

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: ERGENEKON INVESTIGATION INEXTRICABLY
TANGLED WITH AKP CLOSURE CASE

REF: A. ISTANBUL 51
B. ANKARA 518
C. ANKARA 541
D. ANKARA 563
E. ANKARA 587

Classified By: Political Counselor Janice G. Weiner, for Reasons 1.4 (b, d)

1. (C) SUMMARY. Alleged links between the investigation into
the Ergenekon deep state gang (ref A) and the chief public
prosecutor's closure case against the ruling Justice and
Development Party (AKP) are both difficult to prove and
impossible to ignore. Although evidence of a direct link
remains largely circumstantial -- and hard to come by in the
face of a court-imposed gag order on the Ergenekon
investigation -- the progression of each case has clear
implications for the other. END SUMMARY.

Links between Ergenekon and AKP Closure Case
--------------------------------------------
2. (C) Detention of several prominent leftist
ultranationalist figures March 21 -- the first Ergenekon
raids since the Chief Public Prosecutor's March 14 indictment
against AKP -- unleashed a media furor that unambiguously
linked the two as a confrontation between AKP and "Kemalist
forces." The closure case was said to be retaliation for the
Ergenekon crackdown, and the subsequent high-profile
detentions were seen as tit-for-tat for the closure case.
Prime Minister Erdogan charged March 17 that the closure case
was revenge for uprooting deep state gangs "like Ergenekon"
(ref B), although prominent AKPers Abdullatif Sener and
Mehmet Saglam privately reject Erdogan's claim.

3. (C) "Cumhuriyet" daily is the site of much of the
circumstantial evidence, rallying leftist ultranationalists
who agree with the chief prosecutor that the time has come to
take extra-political measures to stop AKP. Ilhan
Selcuk, "Cumhuriyet's" Editor-in-Chief who was detained as
Ergenekon's alleged intellectual leader, mentioned in a
February editorial, "If a closure case is opened and that
triggers an economic crisis, then that will stir Turkey.
There may be some hope." A February article by retired
General Dogu Silahcioglu -- who has not been implicated in
Ergenekon but was deeply involved in the February 28 process
that pulled the rug out from under Necmettin Erbakan's
Islamist-oriented government in 1997 -- also articulated the
need to "push AKP from power" in the fight against political
Islam (ref C). Pro-government Yeni Safak columnists point
out that former National Security Council members and
high-ranking officers have joined the Cumhuriyet Newspaper
Foundation administration upon retirement, including
Silahcioglu, Aytac Yalman, and Sener Eruygur, who also heads
the Ataturkist Thought Association. Yalman and Eruygur were
named last spring as coup plotters in Admiral Ornek's leaked
diaries -- reportedly detailing plans to oust the AKP
government.

4. (C) Proponents of a link cite as evidence of complicity
between the prosecutor and some Ergenekon suspects media
reports that a copy of the AKP closure indictment, obtained
from one of the Ergenekon detainees' computers, was dated two
days before the indictment was filed.

Military and Intelligence Community Complicity?
--------------------------------------------
5. (SBU) "Radikal" daily published on April 5 the "chart and
charter" of Ergenekon, based on a 1999 document allegedly
seized in the houses of detainees Tuncay Guney, retired
Captain Muzaffer Tekin, retired General Veli Kucuk, and
retired Major Zekeriya Ozturk. The document, which describes
Ergenekon as operating within the armed forces, outlines a
rigidly compartmentalized structure of a president, four
commands, and two civilian departments. Only the Ergenekon
president would be aware of the existence of the Operations
command. Techniques outlined in the document include
creation of terrorist groups, cooperation with legal or
illegal organizations, assassination, disinformation,

ANKARA 00000680 002 OF 003


establishing NGOs and media, and illegal fundraising.
Internal executions of double agents would be carried out by
select military personnel who had served in special
operations units.

6.(C/NOFORN) Non-public information obtained during Ergenekon
raids also suggests potential military and intelligence
community complicity. Embassy Legatt reports the Ankara
branch of the Turkish National Police (TNP) has detailed 50
officers to Istanbul to process 1000 CDs obtained during the
raid on Labor Party (IP) leader Dogu Perincek's office
building. Perincek is imprisoned on charges of being "a
high-level administrator in the Ergenekon terrorist
organization," and several of his aides have been arrested as
well. In addition to IP, the building contains offices of
Perincek affiliates, Aydinlik weekly and Ulusal Kanal
television. The CDs contained mainly military information,
some of which was classified top secret, as well as top
secret information from the National Intelligence

SIPDIS
Organization (MIT).

7. (C/NOFORN) According to Legatt's TNP contacts, seized
documents reveal evidence of several plots. The linchpin
plot appears to be the assassination of Chief Public
Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, author of the AKP closure
indictment. His assassination -- much like the 2006 attack
on the High Administrative Court (Danistay) that resulted in
the death of one justice -- would be attributed to Islamic
radicals acting on behalf of AKP. The political and economic
crises that could result from this or other similar events
could create an opening for second-tier military to launch a
coup and "force the retirement" of their seniors. Some of
the documents seized reportedly implicate senior officers in
the Aegean Army (NFI). Perpetrators of a "colonels' coup,"
contacts maintain, willingly risk endangering relations with
the European Union and US.

The US Angle: Guilty on All Counts
----------------------------------
8. (C) Commentators on both sides name the US as the
behind-the-scenes puppeteer, stemming from a deeply and
widely held belief that the US supported Turkey's past
military coups. "Cumhuriyet" has regularly pushed the
apparently contradictory but also widely-held belief that the
US brought AKP to power to showcase Turkey as a moderate
Islamic republic, with the Broader Middle East and North
Africa initiative (BMENA) as the mechanism for instituting
this new order. Echoing the theme, the Chief Prosecutor
alleges in the closure case indictment that BMENA and the
"Moderate Islam Project" allow AKP to hide its sharia goals
behind appeals to democracy, freedom of faith, and freedom of
education (ref E).

9. (C) Others accuse the US of abandoning its AKP ally.
Samil Tayyar, writer of a recent book on Ergenekon, argued
in "Star" daily that AKP's failure to support an operation
against Iran, refusal to support a Kurdish state in
northern Iraq, and failure to furnish combat troops to
Afghanistan caused the US to shift to "Plan B," to eliminate
AKP. "As it used the PKK as an instrument against Turkey,"
the US is now using Ergenekon against AKP, Tayyar maintained.
He claimed that if AKP cuts a deal with the US, the closure
case might evaporate.

10. (C/NOFORN) COMMENT. The progression of the Ergenekon and
AKP cases is now inextricably tied together. The
Ergenekon investigation may implicate high-level officials,
both military and civilian; the further it goes, the
greater the risk existing confrontation between elected
government and the state will intensify. The Ergenekon
probe, which has yet to produce an indictment in nine months,
remains a test of both the government's (and police) resolve
and capacity. TESEV's Foreign Policy Program Director Mensur
Akgun worried from the outset about the GOT's ability to find
prosecutors and others willing to take on the "deep state"
system (ref A). The closure case could well cause TNP's
commitment to pursuing Ergenekon to falter; AKP closure could
be disastrous for TNP leadership, who are now largely

ANKARA 00000680 003 OF 003


pro-AKP, beholden to their political masters, and have stuck
their necks out on Ergenekon. END COMMENT.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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