MORE DETENTIONS IN ERGENEKON COUP PLOT INVESTIGATION
July 24 2008
More than a score of people were detained yesterday in raids carried
out in five cities in connection with an investigation into a powerful
and illegal organization suspected of plotting to overthrow the
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.
Twenty-six individuals, most of whom are editors and writers of the
National Solution journal — known in the past for its proximity
to the Islamist National View movement, out of which grew political
parties such as the Welfare Party (RP) and the Felicity Party (SP)
— were detained in the raids.
Early on Wednesday police staged the simultaneous raids in five
provinces, from Istanbul in the west to ElazÄ±g in eastern Turkey. The
operation was focused on the central Turkish province of Konya,
where 12 people were held.
The detainees include Professor Ahmet Uckun Eray, who is a member of
the Central Decision Committee of the Workers’ Party (Ä°P). The Ä°P’s
leader is also currently in jail for his links to Ergenekon. The
Mediterranean region representative of Ulusal Kanal and the same
network’s advertising department director Nuran GÃ¶kdemir were also
among those detained in yesterday’s raids.
The remaining detainees were also taken to Konya for questioning.
Konya Police Chief Salih Tuzcu in a statement he made early yesterday
evening said the police were investigating the links between the
suspects and the Ergenekon organization. He noted that the operation
was the culmination of a year-and-a-half-long investigation. "These
people who were detained seem to be very different from each other
but they had a common purpose," Tuzcu said, adding that a large number
of documents that were seized along with other police findings point
in that direction. He also noted that this was only the beginning of
their operation, declining further comment.
Eighty-six people have already been charged with involvement in a
bid to stage a coup against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s
government, which hard-line secularists accuse of Islamist subversion.
The Ergenekon investigation under which yesterday’s detentions were
made began in the summer of 2007, when a house filled with arms and
ammunition in Ä°stanbul’s Umraniye district was discovered. As the
investigation expanded, an organization was revealed that is suspected
of responsibility for a number of politically motivated murders,
including that of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in January
2007, and attacks at newspapers and judicial entities to foment chaos
and engineer a military takeover.
The 86 defendants named in the indictment include the head of a
small nationalist party, journalists, drug lords and retired army
officers. Earlier this month, two senior retired generals, leading
businessmen and journalists were arrested, and a separate indictment
is being prepared for them.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress