Assassinations and secret arms caches: new revelations of Turkish ‘deep state’ operations

Kurdistan Tribune – 14.1.2013Turkey’s prime minister Erdogan has dismissed the idea that Turkish ‘deep state’ agents could be responsible for last week’s brutal assassinations of three Kurdish women activists in Paris. But he was quick to to speculate about PKK ‘splits’ and has even referred to the murdered women as terrorists.

At a huge rally in Paris yesterday, BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas rightly condemned this. ”Those should not be the kind of statements that a prime minister striving for peace makes,” said Demirtas. “These people are not terrorists. They were conducting civil politics. Instead of questioning that you should be working to solve these murders, these massacres. That is what the prime minister of Turkey should be doing right now.”

Lvinpress quotes Demirtas as saying that he believes French intelligence has got hold of ‘delicate information’ about the killings.

Could this be about a Turkish ‘deep state’ operation?

Only last month Erdogan spoke about his ‘deep state’ problem. He told a television interviewer that he had discovered that his own office was being bugged and that the MIT (Turkish intelligence agency) was looking into this.

“Our fight against this [deep state] will continue” Erdogan told reporters. “I could not possibly claim that we have rooted out or eliminated the deep state. There is a deep state in every country, and they cannot get rid of it completely. The deep state is like a virus; it re-emerges when favorable conditions come into existence”.

A Turkish columnist has voiced speculation that there are ‘new owners’ of the deep state, with supporters of the Gulen cult filling a vacuum left following recent prosecutions of military generals.

Today’s Sunday Zaman published evidence of the workings of the covert groups set up from within the Turkish military, such as the Tactical Mobilization Group (STK) and the Special Forces Command (ÖKK). Anonymous letters sent to the MIT in 2007-8 gave details of assassinations and attempts to foster religious and ethnic conflict in Turkey. They claimed the STK had buried weapons and military equipment in various parts of the country. And apparently an MIT report states that many secret arms caches have been dug up by retired generals , constituting a “serious problem”.

Ominously, the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli told reporters today that Turkey is likely to see more assassinations and suspicious incidents from now on.

At the request of their families, the bodies of the murdered Kurdish women are due to be flown from Paris to north Kurdistan this week. Funerals for these champions of peace with justice will be held in their home towns: Sakine Cansiz will be buried in Tunceli, Fidan Dogan in Elbistan and Leyla Soylemez in Diyarbakir.