By Ekrem Dumanli
July 12, 2015
Ali Bulaç provoked a bitter discussion when
he told an anecdote from the past.
What was that anecdote? During his college
years, Bulaç was detained and interrogated. The interrogators, playing good cop
and bad cop, finally made him an offer to serve as an agent; he was asked to
collect information on followers at the University of the Nurcu religious
community, founded by Said Nursi. Bulaç refused the offer; but he then found
out that some others who later became prominent journalists had also received
the same offer had accepted it, serving the goals of the intelligence service.
Bulaç also cited some examples as well.
appears that not all Islamists are the target of Bulaç's column, however. He
also draws attention to a major threat and a danger, and indicates that there
might be some Islamists serving the deep state. Altan Tan, who has been pretty
close to Bulaç for decades and now serves as a Democratic Peoples' Party (HDP)
Diyarbakır deputy, added a new dimension to the discussion with his statement,
“Half of the Islamist columnists and half of the pro-Kurdish politicians are working
for the interests of the state.” This is something that needs to be discussed.
of the political Islamists, instead of joining the discussion, insulted Bulaç;
some of them even threatened him. Their rage implies that they were caught
There is no need for panic. All of these
allegations have been known and discussed in the Islamist circles for a long
time. It was always argued that some people, despite their Islamist identity,
have been in the service of the deep state, but they have become major figures
of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in recent years.
This oligarchic group detached the AK Party from its support base and submitted
the party to the deep state as well. Sincere Islamists are displeased with
this. Recently, an AK Party deputy asked our correspondent at Parliament: “Who
won in this period? The party or civil society?” He offered the answer: The
only winner is the deep state, Ergenekon.
These allegations have grounds. Answers are
being sought because there are concrete developments. Let me cite some of them
here: People who drafted reports and carried out official works in line with
the instructions of the West Study Group (BÇG) in the Feb.28, 1997 coup era now
serve as ministers and insult innocent people by imitating the discourse of the
deep state. I wonder if they still perform the mission they were given in the
Feb. 28 era. Do those people who served then-Deputy Chief of General Staff
Çevik Bir in that era and conveyed Bir's message to now President Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan, telling him that only he could deal with former Prime Minister
Necmettin Erbakan, still perform such services? Mothers who were wearing
headscarves were not allowed to attend the graduation ceremonies of their
children at military buildings and facilities; but some people who are now
serving as prominent figures of the AK Party were mentoring the generals of
that period. A person who had no ideational closeness with the AK Party or its
ideological base has become an important figure in the party and turned into a
version of former US Senator Joseph McCarthy.
I do not think I need to cite more. It is
sad to see that some individuals who were allowed to infiltrate the party have
taken the AK Party to the edge of collapse. This set of relationships is the
basis for the solidarity with Ergenekon, the love for Gen. Doğu Perinçek and
the indifference to the Balyoz coup case. There are a number of reasons for the
contradiction that the idealistic supporters of the AK Party are unable to understand;
one of these is the Islamist agents.
Who are they? It is hard to cite names and
offer documents of proof here; but if someday the documents of the Tactical
Mobilization Group -- a unit of the Special Forces Command -- are disclosed and
the members of the special warfare unit are identified, rest assured that you
will see some surprising names. There is no need for anger; it should be noted
that an entire group or community is not to be accused of serving as agents.
Secondly, even the enemies of Islam are not as harmful as the agents of
Islamism. And besides, there is also an issue of agents serving other states as
Let us offer a reasonable framework for
this discussion: the intelligence service seeks to infiltrate all political
groups and social movements. It is in their nature. Agents have played such
roles among the right wing, left wing, secularists, etc. This should not be
turned into paranoia and attributed to some conspiracy theories. But we also
need to be careful about the agents, who are small in number but influential.
What a sincere subscriber to a cause needs to do is to ensure that the agents
will not have full control. You should know that whoever distorted the legal
cases, provoked the people, accused innocent people of espionage and submitted
their party to the conspiracy of the deep structures have been in that service
for a long time. And men of reason are responsible for understanding that.
Nobody has the right to blame the entire
community of Islamists; but neither is it reasonable to submit to the people
who have been serving the interests of secret services for a long time.
Instructions to Finish Off Zaman Daily
Let me also join the discussion Bulaç
started. He was told to leave the Zaman daily; he was offered a salary three
times larger than what he receives now. When he refused this offer, they made
implicit threats. But that offer was not made to Ali Bulaç alone. Let me be
clear: A friend of mine who works at one of the pro-government papers told me
that I should be aware that most of the editors and columnists of the Zaman
paper will be transferred. I was surprised. He kept going, saying: “They will
force your columnists, editors and even correspondents to leave.” I did not
think that would be possible; I have always been suspicious of this, because
they had already started a campaign of antagonism against Zaman daily. I
thought after all they had done, why would they deal with the workers of the
paper? I was wrong. Back then, some pro-government columnists published pieces
in which they argued that nobody will stay at Zaman to write columns. One of
them even argued that people will run off from the Zaman daily.
Amid the rumours, I met with some of our
columnists. I told them what I had heard. One of our columnists said: “It is
good you brought that up. I was worried how to tell you this without being
misunderstood.” It turned out that a leading politician had called him, and
after some compliments, he said one of his men would visit him. That person
told our columnist to leave Zaman and pick any media outlet, paper or TV. Thank
God, that columnist was also a man of integrity; he asked for some time and
then politely refused that unethical offer.
Our columnists, editors and correspondents
have faced similar threats and offers. A few of them were tempted; but like our
readers, our columnists also stood firm. Interestingly, as all these things
were happening, Erdoğan, who was then prime minister, told one of our
correspondents at a press conference that she should leave Zaman. Was it a
coincidence? I am telling you this much for now. In the near future, everybody
will tell more about how the plan to finish off Zaman has been implemented. And
I am sure that some will blush whereas those who are aware of Zaman's mission
will feel proud.
Playing Games of Being an Agent
In the meantime, we also need to refer to
something dangerous. The indictment drafted against Taha Gergerlioğlu, who
advised Erdoğan in the past and is now currently being prosecuted in Germany,
contains some horrible details. The allegations include slandering the Hizmet
movement and profiling Turks in Germany. He is also being accused of
involvement in the horrible murders of three Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
figures in France, and the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is
being implicated. The authorities have tapes of talks between Ömer Güney, who
was arrested in connection with the murder of Sakine Cansız and her friend in
Paris, with MİT agents planning the murder. PKK figures testified that they recognized
the voice of the MİT agent. There are also many classified documents as well.
I am sad to tell you that there are growing
allegations against MİT. The agency, which failed in its operations in foreign
countries, particularly in Syria, is losing credibility as a state institution
because it serves as the private intelligence of a certain political party. MİT
has become an institution with a poor level of credibility because of its
operations and activities. If the allegations are true, then MİT will face hard
times when the political situation changes.
The media leg of this problem is also the
same. Whether or not some political Islamists are agents is a problem for
former Islamists. This is why some of them are furious. And also look at the
new recruits; they think that being an agent is something that you can be proud
of. This is pathetic. They do not know that it is not possible to be an agent
and a journalist at the same time.
These new recruits were given some images
and tapes; some information is leaked to them; they appear to be eager to use
this for their personal careers. But someday, the following questions will be
directed at them and those who provide this information: How did you get this
information and these images? Did you blackmail these people before publishing
people's personal information? Did any of them submit to your blackmail and
threats? Is it not a crime to use the journalists who were used to smear people
who made mistakes but admitted to them, and to antagonize a social group by
referring to these personal mistakes?
Intelligence services are serious state
institutions. Their missions and acts are important and they have to be based
on a legal framework. If you make these institutions submit to a political
party and do this by using some incompetent journalists, then you are playing a
game of being agents. And the end of this dangerous game does not seem to be