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Today’s Zaman reports on ‘Would you dare to say this to Bartholomew and Dink?’

The article published below appeared in Today’s Zaman by Orhan Kemal Cengiz

November 25, 2009

Read this article on the website of Today’s Zaman.

Last Saturday, The New York Times published a news story titled “In Turkey, Trial Casts Wide Net of Mistrust.” It was about the Ergenekon gang, our infamous “deep state,” and the case opened against it. Unfortunately, the story was a completely distorted account of what really is happening in Turkey.

We all know which sources of “information” are behind this coverage. They are, before anybody else, Mr. Soner Cagaptay from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Mr. Gareth H. Jenkins, a freelance British journalist based in Istanbul. Mr. Jenkins was in Washington last week, giving briefings on Ergenekon and claiming “there is no such organization.”

The New York Times article, which referred to the views of not just Mr. Jenkins but also a few Turks who fully agree with him, began with this sentence: “The question many are asking, inside and outside Turkey, is whether the Islamic-inspired government is exaggerating the threat in order to wage a much larger battle against this moderate Muslim nation’s secular establishment.”

Who are these many people? There is, of course, a huge division between different segments of Turkish society about this case. There is a huge propaganda war to whitewash Ergenekon. If you talk to people who are linked to or sympathetic to this organization, of course they will convey this propaganda to you. Why, one wonders, do The New York Times reporters not talk with human rights defenders or with the representatives of minorities in Turkey?

Just to point out the mind-boggling pro-Ergenekon line The New York Times piece had, let me give you an example. The article mentioned “Ergun Poyraz, who has written more than five books critical of the government.” It then said that this “critical” voice had been silenced by the case.

Well, wouldn’t it be interesting to know exactly what sorts of books this “critical” Mr. Poyraz wrote? Let me tell you. Some titles of his books read: “The Rose of Moses –Abdullah Gul,” “The Children of Moses — Tayyip Erdogan” and “The AK Party of Moses.” In all these, the crazy argument is that Gul, Erdogan and other Justice and Development Party (AK Party) personalities are actually secret Jews working for the “elders of Zion” and the state of Israel to destroy Ataturk’s republic. (For more, see: Mustafa Akyol, “The Protocols of the Elders of Turkey,” Washington Post, Oct. 7, 2007.)

Moreover, documents unearthed in the Ergenekon investigation have shown that Mr. Poyraz, the anti-Semitic lunatic, has written all these books with the materials provided him by the Turkish gendarmerie intelligence, and he was regularly paid by the same organization to continue with his “studies.” His ties with gendarmerie intelligence are now a well-documented fact.

That’s not all. Ergun Poyraz wrote another book titled “Six Months Among the Missionaries,” which is simply hatemongering rubbish against evangelizing Christians in Turkey. The book created such an effect and caused a chain of horrific events: Three missionaries were brutally killed in Malatya in 2007. In other places, there were lynching attempts against Protestants.

So, the favorite “AK Party critic” of The New York Times is an anti-Semitic, anti-Christian extremist who gets paid by the deep state for carrying out hate propaganda. Isn’t this bizarre?

Here, Ergenekon is playing a dubious game. While they were trying to convince the Turkish public that the AK Party is “a puppet of American imperialism,” at the same time they are lobbying in America and Europe to convince them that the AK Party indeed has “a hidden agenda,” and its whole purpose is to bring Shariah to Turkey.

If Western journalists really want to understand what Ergenekon is, they should talk to people other than its sympathizers. Why doesn’t The New York Times talk to Turkey’s Christians, for example? They very well know what Ergenekon is and what purpose it has.

Let me ask Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Cagaptay: Do you have the courage to face His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and tell him that there is no Ergenekon? Can you do that?

Minorities in Turkey know the evils here so well. Would you dare to tell Rakel Dink, the widowed spouse of the slain Hrant Dink, that Ergenekon is just an urban legend? Do you have enough courage to say this to the face of these people?

Hrant Dink knew his murderers very well. After retired Gen. Veli Kucuk paid a visit to the court in which Hrant Dink was being tried for “insulting Turkishness,” Hrant said to his friends that this was not a good sign. Soon after he was murdered by a 17-year-old nationalist apparatchik used by the deep state.

Do you know who Kucuk is? Do you know JITEM? Have you heard about the three thousand villages burnt and destroyed in south eastern Turkey? Have you heard that we have 17,500 murders attributed to JITEM? Kucuk is the founder of this organization. And he is the one of the prime suspects in the Ergenekon trial.

Is The New York Times really happy to have contributed to the whitewashing of this army of fascists?

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