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10.02.2007

Thanks to Nuri Gündeş

MEHMET ALI BIRAND


We have been listening to the National Intelligence Organization's (MİT) former director of the Istanbul area, Nuri Gündeş, for days now. He is a courteous gentleman whom I have known for a while. He is approaching 90. After his retirement in 1986 he remained silent for a very long time. He is currently working on a book. It is maybe because of this that suddenly he started appearing on TV. During his appearances, he talked about what the "deep state" has been in the past and how the state bureaucracy affected situations.

It is understood from Gündeş's accounts that the actions and statements of the years between 1960 and 2000 were correct.

So, when the state institutions could not deal with a situation, it employed men from the mafia, hired hit men from outside and lured them to fire guns "in the name of the country."

Gündeş explained very well the logic that dominated MİT in the past. He demonstrated the miserable state this institution was in by "kissing mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı on both cheeks" and sending his regards to him. Gündeş's words made me sad for MİT. I was one of those that believed this institution to be more proper not only today but also in the past. Apparently it is no different from other security organizations.

There is no need for discussion anymore.

The state's security units employ people from outside and instigate them, or simply look the other way when it serves their purposes.

Here are the memoirs of some retired officers, their explanations on TV, the accounts of former police or law officers, the statements by Gündeş.

On top of all these add the treatment of Ogün Samast, the police and the gendarmerie, and you will see what is trying to be done.

It was something else that actually stopped ASALA:

I would like to add a last point here:

It was not the right wing militant and mafia boss Çatlı or mafia boss Çakıcı that finished off the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). They are bragging in vain. It was the raid of Paris's Orly Airport in 1983 that finished the ASALA off. Feeling ill at ease by the raid, the French and U.S. Armenians who used to support ASALA monetarily stopped the aid and the issue was closed. I know this through French authorities that were involved. The ones that were instrumental in the stopping of the aid were MİT and the Foreign Ministry. Otherwise, ASALA did not yield because it was afraid of the Turkish bullies. They were stopped because they had gone too far with their murders.

Athens now views Western Thrace differently:

Going back a while in history one remembers how Greek governments used to view the Turks in Western Thrace. They were not even called "Turks" but were called a "Muslim minority." They were treated as Turkish spies and were not allowed to buy real estate or exercise their basic rights. Each declaration by Ankara was seen as interference in their domestic affairs. According to the conspiracy theories, Turkey was using the Turks of Western Thrace to divide Greece and attach this portion to Turkey.

Years have gone by and a lot has changed. Greece became a full member of the European Union. With this membership it both prospered and its self-confidence increased. As a result of this, the residents of Western Thrace, once seen as a "dangerous minority" are now treated as "Greek nationals." There are still some issues, but the Turks of Western Thrace started seeing themselves as Greek nationals also. They seek their rights just as EU citizens.

We are able to witness the change in climate when we see the images of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis's visit to Western Thrace at the beginning of the week. The minister was met with applause by the Turks.

While explaining Athens policies for the future, Bakoyannis said investments in Western Thrace will increase and citizens with Turkish backgrounds will be able to benefit from these investments. She emphasized that the country's self-confidence has increased.

Yes, there are shortfalls. Nevertheless, it is clear that Greece is ahead of Turkey in terms of its approach to minorities. This should not upset us. The contentment of Turks in Western Thrace means our contentment. The age of hindering each other and being hostile is over. There may be conflicts about various issues but we need to get used to living together, to tolerating each other.

In both countries, there are groups of people that feed on feelings of hostility toward someone. As they raise their voices in the face of tension, they fuel disagreements. However, the way things are going, it seems that even the voices of fanatics will be subdued.