Posted in Turkey

The Darkest Year in the History of Turkey: 1993

1993…

Jurassic Park was attracting millions of kids to the theaters like crazy. The US had just elected their new president, Bill Clinton. The World Wide Web (www. as you know it) was finally born at CERN. Whitney Houston had just rolled out her new single ‘I Will Always Love You’ which made her fans cry like lunatics! Michael Jackson had found himself in the middle of child abuse allegations for the first time. AIDS was spreading fast and creating even a bigger scare. Czechoslovakia was divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. European Union had finally been formed into its final shape upon the signing of Maastricht Treaty. Earthquakes had killed thousands in Japan, India and Indonesia. Canada had chosen their first female Prime Minister, Kim Campbell.

In the USA, the average Cost of new house was $113,200.00, average Income per year was $31,230.00, average monthly rent was $532.00, cost of a gallon of Gas was $1.16, movie ticket was $4.14 (No IMAX then) and average cost of new car was $12,750.00 whereas a loaf of bread cost $1.57. (www.thepeoplehistory.com)

In Turkey though, things were certainly dark and complicated that year. From the very beginning of the year, scary dark clouds had started to gather above the nation’s heads ready to pour and rain.

Before I start, I want to explain two important terms to you since they will be mentioned in the post for a few times:

PKK: Kurdistan Workers’ Party is a militant Kurdish nationalist/terrorist organization, founded by in the late 1970s. They have killed more than 40,000 people in Turkey. Although the group initially espoused demands for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state, its stated aims were later tempered to calls for greater Kurdish autonomy.

Ergenekon Trials: A network of was said to have been linked to the “deep state“, hardliner, neonationalist secularists in key areas of the Turkish establishment who are believed to have wielded considerable influence in political life in recent decades. Starting from 2007, 275 people were arrested with the charges of planning a military coup against current Turkish government. For a full report, please read here.

JANUARY 7

United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Informed Turkish Intelligence Agency that there is a Turkish ship called Lucky-S in the Suez Canal which was carrying tons of drugs and it needed to be stopped immediately. A Navy Forces Team of 7 were called to duty with their commander Ali Turksen. Although the captain and his son tried to sink the ship, when Commander Turksen cuffed both in the engine room and said ‘This ship sinks, you sink along’, they cooperated and saved the ship from sinking. 11 tons of drugs were seized by the police. This revealed that Turkey was involved in a serious drug-trade that had never been exposed before.

JANUARY 24

On this day, people woke up to horrific news. Well-known, awarded author and investigative reporter Ugur Mumcu was assasinated by a bomb placed in his car outside his home leaving two kids, a wife and a sad nation behind. He was smart and his pen was brave. Maybe too brave for this world. He had written a book about the relationship between the ultranationalist organization called ‘Grey Wolves’, the mafia and Mehmet Ali Agca, an assassin who tried to kill Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1981, after ‘magically(!)’ escaping from the prison. Right before Mumcu was killed, he had been working on his book about the Kurdish relations and the Deep State.  Also he was investigating the relations of drugs and arms smuggling with the Kurdish issue, from the rise of the PKK to the rumored Iranian-Saudi links in political killings of the time. His assassins were never found. His book, which scared many important people in the system, was never finished. His colleague tried to finish it and published it under the name ‘Kurt Dosyasi (The File of Kurds)’ it was missing a lot of important information which Mumcu took together with him to heaven.

What is interesting is, according to Wikipedia, in an earlier investigation, Mumcu had been on the CIA‘s trail. Working on the Mehmet Ali Ağca case, he was the first to discover the connection between the Turkish mafia and the Turkish extreme right. In his Cumhuriyet (A famous newspaper in Turkey) column, Mumcu named Ruzi Nazar as the CIA’s liaison with the far-right Grey Wolves.  The CIA’s Turkey station chief, Paul Henze, and an American reporter accosted Mumcu to convince him to write that the Pope’s assassin worked for Soviets or the Bulgarians, but Mumcu said he would simply follow the information trail. Henze left with an ominous “If you do that, you might find a nice surprise in store”, according to his wife, Güldal.

JANUARY 28

The Turkish Jewish businessman Jak Kamhi has been a successful businessman and ambassador for Turkey in international relations. He specifically worked on promoting tolerance between muslims and jews. In the morning of January 28th, five heavily armed gunmen opened fire on the armored car of Kamhi, whose guards returned fire. No one was hurt. The gunmen escaped and very oddly, they left behind all the weapons they had: an anti-tank rocket, assault rifles, pistols and hand grenades. They all had ‘Bismillahirahmanirahim’ written on them, which created the rumors of relationship to militan islamic forces in Iran. Also, the fact that they hadn’t fired the strongest weapon in their possession but chose the least damaging one raised suspicions. So, this unsuccessful (thankfully) assasination attempt has left many question marks in many people’s minds.

FEBRUARY 5

Adnan Kahveci was Minister of Finance and the chief advisor to then Turkish President, Turgut Ozal when he was killed in a suspicious car accident together with his wife and daughter. His son was the only one who survived the accident. Prior to his death, Kahveci was working with Özal on the Kurdish question, and wrote a report urging a peaceful solution, including recognition of the Kurdish language. According to the autobiography of Sakıp Sabancı (One of the biggest business people in Turkish history), President Özal had also entrusted Kahveci with the issue of potentially reserving seats in Parliament for minorities (an idea Sabancı had urged Özal to take up). It was reported that when Kahveci had the accident, he was driving in the opposite direction, on a highway (!).

His son was later going to go on television and blame MOSSAD, the Intelligence Agency of Israel, for the alleged murder of his father and mother. He claimed that ‘Erhan Göksel’ was the key man who staged the alleged murder and executed it. He was allegedly given $10M for his service. Erhan Goksel was one of the consultants of Kahveci and Ozal (both of whom died suspiciously in 1993) who opened his political consultancy company in New Jersey in 1998 and in China in 2005. After the investigations and 4 days of jail time in 2009 under the Ergenekon Trials all his assets were frozen which led him to bankruptcy. He got a job offer from a bank in the US and he lived and worked there until 2010. He was found dead in a hotel room in NJ and the second autopsy report ruled ‘heart attack’ as the cause of death.

FEBRUARY 17

As General Commander of the Turkish Gendarmerie, Esref Bitlis supported the plans of President Turgut Özal to resolve the Kurdish–Turkish conflict by peaceful means. But when he started to feel like there were some games in play, he was not quiet about it. Here, I will mostly summarize it from Wikipedia: “A week before he died, Bitlis met the foreign ministers of Syria, Iran and Iraq to discuss Özal’s peace plans. He was also investigating an issue which journalist Uğur Mumcu, assassinated in January 1993, had been working on, namely the funnelling of 100,000 rifles from Turkey to Kurdish armed forces in Iraq. The Turkish Daily News later interviewed an army general who said that the commander of the Joint United States Military Mission for Aid to Turkey (JUSMMAT) had complained about Bitlis to the chief of staff for collecting information about illegal activities pertaining to Operation Provide Comfort (OPC). Other OPC officers also complained to Washington. Bitlis aggressively opposed American designs; he had allegedly dismissed Americans supporting the Turkish Gendarmerie as well as CIA agents operating from humanitarian organizations active in the region. The interviewed general said that Bitlis had discovered arms intended for Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani concealed in crates purportedly containing food. According to another source, Bitlis was given photographs taken by JITEM operatives depicting three OPC helicopters distributing materiel to the PKK on 10 December 1992. Such acts led Bitlis to conclude that America was intent on establishing a Kurdish state encompassing Turkey. Bitlis proposed to solve the PKK conflict by severing its logistical support. To this end, he suggested establishing relations with neighboring countries.”

On February 17, 1993, a snowy day, Bitlis was on an official trip by plane from the Güvercinlik Army Air Base in Ankara. He switched airplanes when the pilot realized the cockpit was out of order. His Beechcraft Super King Air B-200 crashed minutes after taking off from the air base. Bitlis, his aide-de-camp Fahir Işık, technician Emir Öner and the pilots, who had VIP green card certification for excellence in flying, died in the crash. The chief of staff, Gen. Doğan Güreş, said the accident was due to atmospheric icing. But this was denied by the weather experts (Wikipedia).

APRIL 16

On the 16th of April, the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan made a peace agreement and he was going to announce it on the 17th of April so the violence would have stopped. The President of Turkish Republic, Turgut Ozal, who was trying to bring peace between kurds and white Turks, died on the night of the 16th in his bedroom in his wife’s presence. Doctors announced the cause of death as heart attack. After his death, the peace deal was no longer on the table. PKK continued to massacre messes.

His wife Semra Özal claimed he had been poisoned by lemonade and she questioned the lack of an autopsy. The blood samples taken to determine cause of death were lost or disposed of. 19 years after his death, after his son and wife’s tireless, years-long fights, his grave was re-opened.

In her 2013 book, an internationally distinguished leader in the field of Forensic Sciences, Sevil Atasoy says that she was there when the grave was opened (Atasoy, 2013 pp.215-259). Surprisingly, even after 19 years, Ozal’s cadaver was very well preserved due to a chemical called adipocere. Luckily, they were able to get a good toxicology sample. What they found odd was large amounts of atropine and atenonol. Especially atenonol, which is a chemical that is used in treating hypertension, was present in almost all the remaining organs indicating a possible overdose.

JULY 2

Every nation has many things, at least something, to be ashamed of in their history. This was one of the most shameful, horrifying day in Turkish History showing how a crowd of uneducated people can be tricked into hatred so quickly by using the religion as a tool.

If you don’t know already I would like to tell you about what ‘Alevi’ means and what ‘Sunni’ means. Because in this mob, sunnis burned 33 Alevis alive.

Alevi is the term used for a large number of heterodox Muslim Shi’a communities with different characteristics. Thus, Alevis constitute the largest religious minority in Turkey. Technically they fall under the Shi’a denomination of Islam, yet they follow a fundamentally different interpretation than the Shi’a communities in other countries (minorityrights.org) And Sunni is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by 87–90% of the world’s Muslims. Its name comes from the word sunnah, referring to the behaviour of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Many alevi musicians, artists and authors were in Sivas due to an annual festival. Among the festival attendees there was also an athesit intellect, Aziz Nesin. They were all staying in Madimak hotel when a big group of crowd gathered quickly after the Friday prayer at the mosque. Due to a tremendous amount of provocation starting from 2 days prior, and due to the fact that the government officials didn’t take the crowd seriously until it was too late, a protest turned into a mob, then into a massacre. More than 15,000 people gathered in front of the hotel and they set it on fire. 33 people, aging 12-66, died in the most horrible way one can imagine. If your heart can take it, you can watch it here. Let me tell you this, I’m just so thankful that you cannot understand Turkish. Because what the people behind the camera are saying makes my blood boil.

JULY 5

PKK had taken many lives in Turkey. They usually targeted soldiers, military bases or political locations. However, just after 72 hours of Madimak Massacre, over 100 PKK militans rampaged through Basbaglar village in the city of Erzincan, executed 33 civilians in the village square and burned down the whole village. 214 homes, the school, the mosque and the community center were all burnt down. This unexpected event had created so many speculations. One of them was about creating a deeper split between sunnis and alevis. Erzincan had mostly sunni population and this was attributed as a reteliation of hotel massacre 3 days ago.

After this, PKK killed 26 more civilians, 22 of whom were women and kids, in the city of Van on July 18th. Killed another 15 civilians who were travelling on a bus in August. On October 4th, 23 civilans were killed in Sirvan, Siirt. On October 22nd, mostly kids 22 people are killed in Baykan, Siirt. On October 25th, in Cat, Erzurum PKK raided a Coffee House, killing 35 civilians. These attacks were going to continue throughout the year.

OCTOBER 22

Bahtiyar Aydın was a Turkish general, a regional commander in the Turkish Gendarmerie in Lice, Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey when he was assassinated by a sniper using a Kanas rifle. Officially a victim of the PKK (which denied responsibility), his death has long been considered suspicious. General Aydın was one of those who believed the “Kurdish Issue” could not be solved by force, and needed a peaceful solution with economic and social measures. As you can see, another peace maker was removed from the equation by assasination.

NOVEMBER 4

Ahmet Cem Ersever was a commander in the Turkish Gendarmerie, and said to be one of the founders of the Gendarmerie’s JITEM intelligence unit (Wikipedia). He was assassinated with his girlfriend and translator Nevval Boz, along with İhsan Hakan, a former PKK member, informant. He was sued by the military officials due to an interview Ersever gave to a newspaper. He left his apartment on October 24th to go to his court hearing in Ankara on October 26th. On November 1st, they found his girl friend’s dead body first. Then, the informant’s. It was going to be the evening of November 4th when they discovered Ersever’s body in Elmadag, Ankara. He was killed execution style while his hands were tied. During Ergenekon trials, a report found suggested that journalist Uğur Mumcu, General Eşref Bitlis and Ersever had all been killed to cover up arms sales from the Ergenekon organization to armed Kurdish groups.

If you made it this far, I want to congratulate you. Because it was even hard for me to write about all these. I felt the need to take several mental breaks in the process of writing this.

So, what do people say? What the heck happened in 1993 in Turkey?

Some people said this was a military coup that was organized and performed by the Turkish military through covert means. The aim was to prevent a peace settlement and protect the covert relationships between the Turkish military, intelligence services including JITEMCounter-Guerrilla, Kurdish forces including Kurdish Hizbollah, and the Turkish mafia; In other words, ‘Deep State‘.

The others claimed the classic: The USA, Russia and the European Union, especially the United States, don’t want things to get settled in middle east and Turkey plays a huge role there. Wonder why? Let me show you a map showing the location of Turkey.

Finding Turkey very close to Russia and petroleum rich Iraq an Iran, the USA had decided that Turkey must be among the most important allies. No wonder why we have a US military base in our southern city, Adana, which keeps them even closer to the land of their interests. It also keeps a good protection measure for Israel. If Turkey didn’t have battles to fight, it would mean they wouldn’t need guns, ammo, helicopters, and other military supplies. If we were strong enough to stand on our own feet, we wouldn’t need US’, EU’s, Russia’s, China’s help. That means these governments wouldn’t be able to use ‘their help’ as the leverage for their own games on each other. See the point? ‘Divide and Conquer’ is unfortunately still a popular game among the Ivy league of the World’s nations. ‘Divide! So that they won’t have any power, money or time left to think about improving, expanding since they will be busy dealing with their own internal issues.’

As you can see, politics in my country is very complicated. The split among the groups has been worse. On top of that, the economic crisis is making people more agitated and frustrated than ever. The current government doing everything in their power to make the nation dumber by changing education system so that they can’t question and so obey. They are destroying the judicial system so that their supporters and themselves can get away with whatever they do, without any consequences. And this is making some nations really politically happy.

Please let me finish this way. People of a nation don’t represent the government, it is the opposite. I know that. So I’m not targeting anyone personally here. But you take the responsibility when you remain silent, choose to be ignorant and don’t vote in the elections. If you are a citizen of a powerful country such as the US or China or Russia, you have an extra responsibility, my friend. Because the person you choose can impact the destiny of this world and the faith of 99.2% in the world. The 0.8% are making more than $1M a year. So, whenever something goes wrong, they can fly to another country together with their assets and live there until they die.

But…. Can you?

– Hoscakalin!

Ece

Author:

Science lover, book enthusiast, a nerd who dedicated herself to education.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.