By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 3, no. 13 of the Turkey Analyst)
July 10, 2010 marks the second anniversary of the publication of the first indictment in what has become known as the Ergenekon case. A total of over 600 suspects have been detained, of whom more than 400 have been formally charged in indictments running to thousands of pages and backed by more than a million pages of supporting evidence. Yet the prosecutors have yet to extract a single confession, much less produce any convincing proof that the clandestine network they described even exists. Indeed, far from strengthening the prosecutors’ case, the increasing volume of “evidence” has steadily undermined it. Most disturbingly, not only is much of the material self-contradictory or manifestly absurd but – particularly in what has become known as the Sledgehammer investigation – some appears to have been manufactured.
By Gareth Jenkins (vol. 2, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
The third indictment in what has become known as the Ergenekon investigation takes the number of people who have been charged with membership of the “Ergenekon terrorist organization” to 194. However, like its predecessors, the third indictment fails to adduce any convincing evidence that the Ergenekon organization even exists. The third indictment, as such, has not alleviated any of the serious questions that the Ergenekon investigation has raised about the credibility of the Turkish judicial system.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 12 of the Turkey Analyst)
Once again, commentators raise the question whether there is a risk of a military coup in Turkey. There is no reason at all to believe that the General staff entertains any such thoughts. However, recent developments have nevertheless provided a reminder that the military’s position remains delicate. The Chief of the General staff, General Ilker Başbuğ, is in fact engaged in an awkward battle on two fronts, against old coup habits in the military, and against the challenge posed by the Islamic movement of Fethullah Gülen.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
The latest wave of arrests in the Ergenekon coup plot case, targeting secular academics and NGOs, has once again altered perceptions of the investigation. It has become more difficult to interpret the investigation as exclusively concerned with bringing coup plotters to justice. Representatives of the AKP itself were dismayed by the turn taken by the investigation. Attention is now focused on the Fethullah Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding an operation directed at its secular challengers in civil society, acting on its own and by-passing the AKP.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
As the investigation into the alleged Ergenekon conspiracy continues unabated, the polarization of Turkish society deepens. According to one interpretation of the unfolding drama, a mortal threat to democracy has been averted by the prosecutors. The opposing narrative holds that a “republic of fear”, intolerant of political dissent, is being instituted. In the final analysis, one interpretation does not exclude the other.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.