From: DHKC Informationbureau Amsterdam


Turkey's "COINTELPRO" Scandal

Part 2

Part II of translated articles regarding the Contra-guerrilla in Turkey, as published by the revolutionary weekly "Kurtulus"
THE WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE: THE CONTRA-GUERRILLA THE CONCEPT OF CONTRA-GUERRILLA WAS DEVELOPED TO COMBAT NATIONAL LIBERATION MOVEMENTS AND REVOLUTIONS. At the beginning of the `90s, the existence of contra-guerrilla organisations was revealed in the NATO countries and in countries like Finland and Sweden, not belonging to NATO themselves. However, although Turkey is a NATO member the existence of a contra-guerrilla organisation in Turkey has always been denied. Maybe the European imperialist countries do no longer have a need for contra-guerrilla organisations, but the Turkish oligarchy will have a need for it for a long time. It has never been possible here to make an end to the revolutionary and the national liberation struggle, on the contrary: the danger of a revolution only has become bigger for the oligarchy. The oligarchy, nor imperialism, could live in peace with that. Therefore the fight against the people was increased, especially at the beginning of the `90s, and more and more the made use of the contra-guerrilla. With disappearances, executions, massacres, coercion to betray, the burning down of villages, provocations, forced emigration, and denunciations of revolutionaries and patriots, psychological warfare was increased, the activities of the contra-guerrilla were institutionalised and became state policy. New organisations such as the Special Units and the secret service of the military, JITEM, were set up, traitors of the contra-guerrilla were employed, and the "village guards" were legalised. Using such methods means waging war against the people. But these methods of a war against the people are nothing new. They have been used before by the imperialists, especially by the USA and its contra-guerrilla centre, the CIA, all over the world in their war against the peoples. When the USA began to enlarge and secure its capitalist world order after 1945, contra-guerrilla organisations were set up in all the countries in the world it could reach. The aim was not to protect these countries from the danger of a "communist occupation", they rather wanted to prevent national liberation struggles and revolutions in these countries, bringing collaborating governments in power, keeping them there with the help of the contra-guerrilla organisations. In this way these countries were to be made dependent from the USA, transforming them into a constant source for exploitation. Therefore contra-guerrilla organisations were not only set up in the NATO countries, they were set up in all countries which collaborated with the USA. The military qexperts Peter Paret and John W. Shy described the goal of the USA like this: "The goal is to strengthen the authority of the governments which are supported by the USA, securing their regimes." (P. Paret and J.W. Shy, Guerillas in the 1960s, p. 42) "The USA can and must deploy the contra-guerilla in crushing leftist or non-leftist governments which are not according to the wishes of the USA. [...] It's our goal to install friendly governments in stead of non-friendly governments, not according to our interests." (ib. p.302) To achieve these goals, the USA planned coups in many countries, carried them out themselves or supported the perpetrators. The military coup of 1973 in Chile, for example, was planned by the financial director of the American monopoly ITT. The socialist president of Chile, Allende, who democratically won the elections, was brought down and his place was taken by a military junta. In 1953, the CIA was involved in bringing down the government of prime-minister Musadik in Iran. Feyzullah Zahidi, brought into power instead by the CIA, had been a supporter of the Nazi's. In Greece, the governments were controlled by the contra-guerrilla. Vietnam, Korea and other countries were the USA waged open war, and Latin America, known as the "back-yard of the USA", served as a laboratory for the contra-guerrilla. The contra-guerrilla in Turkey, strengthened in the `80s and actually forming the government, waging an intensified war against the people since the `90s, profited from the experiences the CIA had made in previous years in these countries. THE FIRST CONTRA-GUERRILLA CENTRE: THE "MOBILISATION WORKGROUP". In 1947, the government of the CHP (Cumhurriyet Halk Partisi - Republican People's Party) changed the system from a one-party system into a multi-party system because of the relations with the imperialist countries, especially the USA. This phase has been very important for Turkey. The relations with the USA rapidly developed under the government of the DP (Democratic Party), led by prime-minister Adnan Mendere. In the general treaty with the USA and the European countries, Turkey especially asked for economic aid. Under the Marshall Plan, influenced by the Truman Doctrine, this aid was generously granted to bring the USA closer to its aim of world domination. Although there was no written request by the USA or a corresponding treaty, Turkey - on its own initiative - sent soldiers to Korea for the benefit of the imperialists to show itself a reliable friend for the USA. On April 4, 1952, Turkey became a member of NATO. Under the "Treaty for Mutual Defence" Turkey signed many treaties which made it dependent of the imperialists. Like in all other NATO countries, a contra-guerrilla organisation was set up in Turkey in 1952 against the "threat of a communist occupation", called "Mobilisation Workgroup". And like in all founding member countries, the public and parliament were not informed about the existence of the contra-guerrilla. Only the few who took part in setting it up, knew about it. The contra-guerrilla, under the command of the 2. chairman of the general staff, was housed in the same building as the US aid-organisation JUSMAAT in Ankara/Bahcelievler. In 1965, the name was changed into "Special Warfare Department", and in 1990 it was renamed "Special Forces Command". Until 1974, the CIA took care of all the costs and the training of the contra-guerrilla's. THE CONTRA-GUERRILLA AND THE CIA ARE INTERWOVEN. Under the "Being of help" program, and mediation of the CIA, candidates for the contra-guerrilla were trained in schools or camps in the other imperialist countries or the colonies. Among the trainees were officers, policemen as well as civilians. They are trained by the USA, but not because they want to be of help. In the training camps and schools, the CIA contacts them and tries to enlist them as CIA-agents. It establishes an organisation of its own in all the countries of the contra-guerrilla. And thus it govern all the countries it wants to keep under its control through the contra-guerrilla. It proceeds to the most remote corners of the state, getting information about politicians, about the last developments, much quicker than those who are nominally in power. It tries to get the policemen and officers - who have become its agents or who can easily be indoctrinated with its policy -, and even the bureaucrats and politicians, on key positions in the state organs. During the putsch and the military junta, the officers - who had become CIA-agents - played a major role. In 1967, secretary of defence McNamara explained the US-aims: "To state it even more openly, with the aid for Latin America we pursue the aim , if necessary, to support the training of the military or para-military to restore the needed internal peace, together with the police and the other security forces." "The actual reason for our military aid for these countries, where the military is weakly developed, is to model them according to the ideology of the USA to use them, if necessary, in the future in governing these countries." The war of the contra-guerrilla against the people also increased the opposition. 44 years have passed since the contra-guerrilla was set up in Turkey. But in the last 5 years considerable differences showed up, as well as concerning the power it achieved in the state organs, as well as concerning the methods which are used in the war against the people. Certainly this is no coincidence. When the oligarchy - through the contra-guerrilla - uses the most brutal and cruel methods in the war it has opened against the people, then this stems from its helplessness towards the revolutionaries and the national struggle. In the past they saw all its tools and methods weren't sufficient to stop the struggle, and now it's forced to develop new methods and tools to continue the war. Between 1950-1960 the US "policy of the Cold War" was applied in a radical manner in Turkey by the Democratic Party, led by Mendere. "Communism and the Soviet Union" were supposed to be the biggest enemies. In this period, in 1955, the contra-guerrilla carried out its first operation: a bomb attack against the Ataturk House, a museum, in Selanik, Greece. The government, and the supportive press, uses this event to provoke the people. Fascists, organised by the provocations of the contra-guerrilla, carry out attacks against houses, shops and workplaces of Armenians and Byzantines in Istanbul. These places are burned and destroyed. But the bankruptcy of its economic policy causes an economic crisis and poverty in the country and the Democratic Party is set back. The contra-guerrilla increases its attacks against the opposition even more, which eventually leads to a growth of the democratic opposition and the coup of May 27, 1960. The USA knew about this coup beforehand, but it became clear they could not control the organising officers as they wanted. It's true, the fascist Alparslan Turkes, trained in the USA, initially took part in the newly founded committee of national unity, but he and his friends were quickly removed and sent into exile. Later he became the leader of the civilian fascist movement MHP (the Grey Wolves). In the mid-'60s the mass actions started. In 1967, DISK (Revolutionary Trade Union Confederation) was founded and the organisation of the workers rapidly developed. From 1968 onward, the discussions among the left increased and the revisionist line of the TKP and TIP was considered obsolete. Large parts of the youth disassociated themselves form this line. First the KFK (Debating Club Federation, led by Mahir Cayan) was founded, and later the Revolutionary Youth (Devrimci Genclik). The contra-guerrilla was more and more used against the growing and radicalising opposition which began to strive for the revolution. A civilian organisation of the contra-guerrilla, the fascist movement MHP, began to organise in this period. From 1967 the civilian fascists were trained in the commando camps of the contra-guerrilla. Alparslan Turkes is the leader of this movement. Nihat Yazar, former chairman of the MHP disciplinary committee who later left the party, reported in a statement to the paper Politika about the participation of Alparslan Turkes in the coup of 1960: "The contacts between Alparslan Turkes, who was involved in the coup, and the CIA, began in those days." Against the growing people's opposition, the state began to make use of the civilian fascist, as well as the police and the military. PROVOCATIVE ACTIONS BY THE CONTRA-GUERRILLA. Since the `60s, provocative actions have been part of the methods of the contra-guerrilla to expand its psychological warfare. The March 12 coup and many sabotage actions were carried out. And it was tried to make it look as if the revolutionaries were the perpetrators. A broad smear campaign was launched against the revolutionaries. Some of these actions: * A red flag was hung at the Galata Tower in Istanbul. * The Ataturk Cultural Palace in Taksim/Istanbul was burned. * A ferry was sunk in Eminonu/Istanbul. * Bomb attack against the Sirkeci Train Station in Istanbul. * Bomb attack against the Ataturk Airport in Yasilkoy/Istanbul. * The Marmara ferry was set on fire. With such provocative actions the contra-guerrilla used terror against the revolutionaries, democrats and intellectuals. Hundreds of people were arrested and tortured. But as always in these kind of actions, the perpetrators were never found. THE BEGINNING OF THE MASS EXECUTIONS. With the coup of March 12, 1971, the contra-guerrilla became even stronger. Contrary to the coup on May 27, 1960, the contra-guerrilla played a major role in this coup. During the junta, the name of the contra-guerrilla could most be heard in Istanbul/Erenkoy, in the torture centre in the Ziverbey House. In this period the contra-guerrilla chief of the general staff was Memduh Tagmac. Later the organising of the contra-guerrilla, the fascist MHP, and the support bases of the fascist became stronger. From 1974, when the revolutionary struggle began to increase, the attacks by civilian fascist gangs began anew. The fascist gangs wanted to control the schools, neighbourhoods and villages in the entire country. The oligarchy wanted to strangle the growing opposition with a fascist occupation. This caused the masses, forced into the class struggle, to organise the anti-fascist struggle. Although several opportunistic and revisionist organisations conduct a passive attitude towards the fascist attacks, resistance is mounted in the schools and the neighbourhoods. Large sacrifices have been made and thousands of revolutionaries and patriots fell. But the fascist plan was crossed. The occupation by the fascists was largely broken in all parts of the country. When the growing opposition could no longer be halted with the help state-supported fascist attacks, the oligarchy had no other option left than to carry out a military coup. Between 1975-1980, most contra-actions were carried out by civilian fascists. In this period, revolutionaries and patriots were mostly kidnapped, tortured and murdered by organisations like ETKO (Salvation Army for the Imprisoned Turks, led by MHP-fascists) and the TIT (Turkish Revenge Brigade). The murdered people were put in a sack and dropped somewhere. The contra-guerrilla carried out the most striking mass executions in this period: * MayDay, 1977: people on the streets are shot from buildings and crushed by tanks. The death of 36 people was a starting signal for a veritable wave of mass executions. * March 16, 1978: In front of the University of Istanbul democratic * and revolutionary students are shot when they leave the university * building. Later 7 students are murdered in a bomb attack. * October 8, 1978: 7 members of the TIP (Turkish Workers Party), students, are murdered in their houses in Ankara/Bahcelievler by fascists. Abdullah Catli is one of those who were responsible for this massacre. * October 1978: 4 students are taken from a bus by fascists in Istanbul and shot. * December 21, 1978: Before the massacre in Kahramanmaras, 2 teachers, members of the TOB-DER (Teachers Union) are murdered. The next day, December 22, fascists attack the people who attend the funeral ceremony for the murdered teachers. From there, the fascist march to the shopping centre where they destroy shops of Alewites and buildings of the CHP (Republican People's Party). During a confrontation, 3 more people are murdered. On December 23, ostensibly to prevent a confrontation between police and people, the policemen are called of the streets. This give the fascist the opportunity to gather, and they are given a free hand. The soldiers, ordered by the governor on December 21, never arrive. On December 24, the fascists attack a neighbourhood, predominantly inhabited by Alewites. They murder children, elderly people, women - even pregnant women -, the sick. The massacre continues until the evening of December 25. 210 houses and 70 workshops are destroyed and burned. As far as can be ascertained, 111 people were murdered. * May 16, 1979: Fascist storm a cafe in Ankara/Etlik Piyangotepe which is frequented by leftists. The people are forced to lay down and then shot. 7 people are murdered. * October 27, 1979: A cafe in Devrim Street in Istanbul/Bayram which is frequented by leftists is stormed by fascists. * On October 28,1979: Another cafe, this time in Kayseri, is riddled with bullets by fascists: 5 people die. * On December 16, 1979: the Barbados Coffee-house in Istanbul/Besiktas, often frequented by revolutionary students, is bombed. 5 students die in the attack. (These are only a few examples, the list of massacres is almost endless) Explosives depot in the house of a MHP-contra-guerrilla. On February 16, 1978, explosives are found of a retired army captain, Mehmet Ali Cevirker. It is determined that the explosives, used in the massacres of March 16, 1978 at the University of Istanbul and in Kahramanmaras stem from Mehmet Ali Cevirker's depot. In August, 1978, the fascist Ali Yurtaslan testified Mehmet Ali Cevirker was a member of the MHP, having close contacts to the leadership of the fascist movement. MHP-leaders order forged papers for Mehmet Cevirker to get him out of prison, but this is prevented. ACTIONS BY THE CONTRA-GUERRILLA: The Cigli Airport in Izmir: assault against Ecevit. When Ecevit arrives at the airport, a policemen shoots at him. However, the bullet hits the leg of Mehmet Isvan who stood next to Ecevit. A second attack was planned at a meeting in Taksim/Istanbul but this was prevented because of a warning by Demirel. "We weren't even able to nationalise the council of ministers" (Inonu to Suleyman Genc during a visit on April 22, 1970) The youth leader of 1970 decided to make a report about NATO, CENTO, oil, the national economy, the building industry, the nationalisation of natural resources and independence. This report was meant for the then prime-minister Inonu. Suleyman Genc took this task upon him. After Inonu read the report, he told Suleyman Genc: "Let me tell you what happened to me once: I was prime-minister in 1963. The situation on Cyprus was getting intense. The London-Zurich Treaty was unilaterally changed by the Cyprean state minister. I called for a meeting of the council of ministers and we discussed the necessary security measures. We decided on a policy we were going to take. The meeting was concluded and my friends left. 45 minutes later the American consul phoned and asked for a meeting. He indicated he wanted to talk to me about the problems on Cyprus. I agreed. He listed all we had discussed during the meeting. "These are dangerous thoughts, these could lead to dangerous reactions. The Turkish government may not be the cause of such dangerous events," he told me. We weren't even able to nationalise the council of ministers, so what do you think you can achieve?" "I give an order, and before I even get the results, Washington knows about it" During a meeting in 1964, Ismet Inonu reported how the CIA was organised in Turkey under the name of "advisers-experts": "We still want an independent policy, full of character. Everybody is talking about the same things. But how am I going to do this. I will decide and give the issue into the hands of experts. Can they do this? There surrounded with foreign advisers, and it is all being delayed. And when this doesn't help, they take security measures. I give an order, and before I even get the results, Washington knows about it. I do not get the results from my civil servants, I get them from them. Have we handed over the state like this? They never showed me a report which constituted a real solution. All forbidden. All we do, we do it with our people. And so thousands of people just walk around, having certain abilities. And now these gangs are on the agenda. We could have solved the retribution between the two states ourselves. It's all about the attack against our initiative. They were prepared to make a proposition if we agreed to accept even just one of their experts. We didn't agree. We perfectly knew why they wanted this. And they perfectly knew why we didn't agree. That's how things are. They make promises, and when you sign, they arrive the next day. Then try to get rid of them again. They will not leave anymore. But we have to consider this seriously. Otherwise it's impossible to conduct an independent foreign and interior policy. Do not think it's all that easy. Even unexpected events are better than this. If we would try to get rid of them, I don't know what might happen to us."

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