Ergenekon probe reveals yet another coup plot

A document titled "Eldiven" found in the home of Gen. Şener Eruygur, shows in great detail the third coup attempt previously unknown to the media and the prosecution.

Ergenekon probe reveals yet another coup plot

The investigation into Ergenekon, a dark neo-nationalist organization with former senior army generals and journalists among its members seeking to engineer a coup against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, has revealed that in 2004 Turkey narrowly escaped three potential coups d'état, one more than had previously been reported by the media.

Newspapers yesterday reported that documents seized during last week's raids in the Ergenekon investigation suggested that in addition to two coup plans, codenamed Sarıkız (blonde girl) and Ayışığı (moonlight), a third one by the name of Eldiven (the glove) was also in the works.

A document titled "Eldiven" found in the home of Gen. Şener Eruygur, a former force commander of the gendarmerie currently under arrest on charges of founding and being a leader of the Ergenekon terrorist organization, shows in great detail the third coup attempt previously unknown to the media and the prosecution. Eldiven, according to reports, appears to be an extension of the failed Sarıkız and Ayışığı coup plots.

The plan's introduction states that "there is discordance within the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK]" on the matter of supporting coup plans and proposes remedies to get over this "obstacle."

The main purpose of Eldiven is to "shape the TSK, Parliament, the bureaucracy and local governments and rewrite the Constitution, the entire legislation and the National Security Policy Document." According to the plan, cell organizations of people from different segments of society would be formed. These would be unaware of each other's existence and work without knowing the real aim they serve, although they would all be serving the same ultimate purpose.

The plan also writes in detail what kind of psychological warfare tactics would be used to shape public opinion. The first stage of the plan consisted of ensuring consensus nationwide. The plan sought to shape the decisions to come out of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) by talking to journalists and having them publish the ideas of generals currently active in the military. The plan also planned to use the effectiveness of then-President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in shaping YAŞ.

Like the two other plans revealed before it, Eldiven also hoped to rely on media support and on financially supporting some of the media organs to publish news that would exhaust liberals or democrats and move public opinion to support the army's plans.

Meanwhile, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt, when asked a question on the Ergenekon operation following a meeting yesterday of the chiefs of general staff of Balkan countries in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, declined to comment, saying he would only take questions about the chiefs of general staff meeting, NATO, security and EU relations.

A short history of Turkey's coup leaders

Turkey has seen three coups in the last five decades, but no commander has ever been prosecuted or convicted for overthrowing the civilian government until now. Kenan Evren, the retired general who staged the 1980 coup, is currently enjoying retirement in a southern resort town and keeping himself busy with painting.

In a sign that this may be changing, retired Gen. Eruygur, currently the chairman of the Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD), which helped organize mass anti-government demonstrations last year, and Hurşit Tolon, a former commander of the 1st Army Corps, were arrested after testifying in court during their time in custody.

The two were taken into custody on July 1 as part of an investigation into Ergenekon, a gang suspected of having planned a shooting at the Council of State in 2006 which resulted in the death of a senior judge; an attack on the İstanbul headquarters of the Cumhuriyet newspaper; and even the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was gunned down by an ultranationalist teenager over a year ago.

Eruygur is being mentioned as a key accomplice along with three other force commanders in a diary allegedly kept by a former navy commander detailing failed plans to overthrow the AK Party.

Eruygur was a leading figure among the organizers of so-called republican rallies held ahead of July elections last year in protest of the AK Party government. His name was also mentioned in documents leaked to the press proving the existence of the two failed coup attempts, Ayışığı and Sarıkız, plotted when Eruygur was still in the military. Tolon was known for making frequent appearances at symposiums and conferences organized by ultranationalists. This is the first time generals of such high rank are being detained in Turkey.

Today's Zaman

Last Mod: 08 Temmuz 2008, 08:09
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