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17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Ersever’s top-secret archive found in general’s house

VELI KÜÇÜK - AHMET CEM ERSEVER
2 February 2008, Saturday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
An archive containing state secrets belonging to a major who was mysteriously killed in 1993 was found in the home of a retired brigadier general arrested for membership in a crime group, newspapers reported yesterday.
More and more claims have been emerging as the investigation into the “Ergenekon” crime network, which appears to be part of a formation that operates with the knowledge of parts of the government bureaucracy, the armed forces, the police and the judiciary.

According to reports, an archive containing top state secrets previously belonging to Maj. Cem Ersever, who was assassinated in 1993 with the perpetrator never being captured, was found during a search of a ranch house belonging to retired Brig. Gen. Veli Küçük, arrested in the Ergenekon operation last week. Another file, which documented that journalist Uğur Mumcu was assassinated with a bomb by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in 1993, was found in the home of another retired army member, Zekeriya Öztürk, news reports claimed. However, this document never made its way to the prosecutor’s desk, they also stated.

Ersever’s secret archive

Ersever was a former major who left the army after Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Etref Bitlis was killed in a suspicious plane crash. Ersever, in a confession made to the press after he left the army, told the public about figures who would become some of the most famous names in Turkey in 1996 when for the first time the Turkish public’s suspicions of a “deep state” would be confirmed with a car crash in the town of Susurluk, in which a police chief and an internationally sought criminal would be killed and a deputy who also led a southeastern Kurdish clan armed by the state against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists would be seriously injured.

Although scores of definitions are offered for the phrase “deep state,” ample evidence shows that Ergenekon-like groups acting to protect to interests of cliques inside the military and the bureaucracy have been responsible for a number of political assassinations and attacks blamed on various other parties. Some analysts believe this clandestine phenomenon, the deep state, is a remnant of Operation Gladio, a network of secret paramilitary units organized within most NATO countries after WWII, although there is evidence that suggests such structures existed even in the times of the Ottomans.

Ersever’s confessions were later compiled in a number of books by author Soner Yalçın. The major before his assassination also said he was in charge of the southeastern operations of JİTEM, an intelligence unit in the gendarmerie that does not exist on paper.

Ersever’s body was found in Ankara on Nov. 4, 1993. His girlfriend and right-hand man were also killed, and his archive disappeared.

In a report that Hanefi Avcı, a police chief investigating deep state links, would compile three years later on the above-mentioned car crash, the location of Ersever’s archives was noted as the home of the driver of a customs police chief. According to the report filed by Avcı, these were taken by the gendarmerie, which also trapped Ersever, who had arrived to meet with the police chief’s driver. The document also states that Ersever was killed by a man who used the code name Yeşil and who worked for Küçük.

The archive, which had been lost for more than a decade, might shed light on the dirty jobs Ersever did for JİTEM.

The Mumcu link

According to a news report from the Taraf daily, a document that journalist Uğur Mumcu was killed by “deep state” forces was found in the home of Zekeriya Öztürk, another Ergenekon member who was arrested after an armed attack at the Council of the State in 2006 that left a senior judge dead, apparently the work of Ergenekon. However, this document later mysteriously disappeared and never made its way to the prosecutor working on the Council of State shooting case.

Who was Cem Ersever?

Ahmet Cem Erserver was born in the eastern city of Erzurum in 1950. On Dec. 11, 1979 he was assigned by the Gendarmerie Command to investigate smuggling incidents in various crimes. After the Sept. 12, 1980 coup d’état, Ersever was assigned to a southeastern post to collect intelligence on the PKK. Establishing JİTEM, a paramilitary intelligence unit in the gendarmerie set up to carry out operations with the intelligence collected on terrorists, was his idea. Ersever set up the first lines of communication between Kurdish leaders Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani. He also had sound links with northern Iraq’s Turkmens and Iraqi intelligence units. After Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Bitlis died in a suspicious plane crash, he left the gendarmerie in March 1993. In his resignation he wrote, “A gang formed inside the authorized organization in the Southeast is preventing the Turkish nation from seeing the real dimensions of the events taking place there.” His dead body was discovered by the gendarmerie in Ankara on Nov. 4. 1993. He wrote the books “Conspiracy in the Triangle” (Üçgendeki Tezgah) and “APO-PKK-The Kurds” (APO-PKKO-Kürtler). His death and his archive are covered in an entire chapter of the 1996 Susurluk car crash police report.

 

 
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