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04.04.1997

The smell of a grand cover-up on Susurluk

The smell of a grand cover-up on Susurluk
Turkish Daily News Electronic Edition, 'Editorial' by Ilnur Cevik, April 3 1997

4 April, 1997, Copyright © Turkish Daily News


The smell of a grand cover-up on Susurluk

  • Refah represented a party that would strive for a 'clean society in Turkey' yet the Susurluk flop may force some people to think twice
    'Editorial' by Ilnur Cevik

    The parliamentary commission which was charged with investigating the Susurluk scandal and was supposed to reveal the links between politicians, some police officials and the underworld, has come up with a 3,000-page report which amounts to a stark naked cover-up...

    For some time, the nation felt this was the great opportunity for corruption, irregularities and other crooked dealings of some state officials and politicians to be revealed, and believed those responsible would be brought to justice.

    In the early stages of the investigation the commission was forceful and hard-hitting. It investigated practically everyone and pushed for facts. Yet, as time went by, there seemed to be a slowing down of the activities of the commission and, in the end, it started avoiding real issues and listening to some key figures...

    Everyone was talking about this great opportunity, when the Parliament would show everyone it means business and has the capability of investigating such delicate issues. Now those expectations will be replaced by anger and indignation. In the days to come we will read articles crying foul play and disgrace.

    Now that the legislative body has failed to turn up something meaningful about the Susurluk case, all eyes will be turned to the judiciary for hope. People will feel that at least the prosecutors and judges will act more independently than the politicians to get to the bottom of the scandal.

    Susurluk was not only a case which revealed the links between some state officials, politicians and the mafia. It was also supposed to show how state officials had set up a hit squad to kill the "opponents" of the state.

    There were claims that all this was done with the approval of Mehmet Agar, who was then the interior minister. The report talked about the call by the prosecutor for the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of Agar and another deputy, Sedat Bucak, so they could be tried for their suspected roles in the scandal, and this was the only incriminating section for the politicians... Yet, the members of the commission which belonged to the government wing of the coalition government refused to mention Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller in the report. At the time, Ciller was Agar's prime minister.

    This means that if there is a cover-up it was done with the participation and approval of the pro-Islamist Welfare Party which won the trust of many voters as a "God-fearing" and "clean" party. This would not only create public disapproval but would also tarnish the good image of Refah.

    Susurluk offered a grand opportunity to allow Turkey to rid itself of corruption, mystery murders and irregularities. It seems the politicians simply could not rise to the occasion. So nothing has changed in Turkey since the 1980s. At that time we were the only country in the world which could not prosecute its state officials because of the massive Lockheed scandal, and today we are showing that nothing has changed...


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