Cengiz ÇANDAR I bumped into an old acquaintance yesterday, a former military officer, one of the detainees in the Ergenekon crime gang investigation. After spending four days in detention, he was released by the office of the prosecutor. I mean, he is not one of those who were sent to the court. That is, he is not banned from leaving the country, neither was he released on condition of trial without arrest. And he is definitely not the one to whose release on condition the prosecutor objected.

My acquaintance told me the story of his interrogation. While he was speaking, we were also checking out what the Republican People's Party, or CHP, leader Deniz Baykal was saying in the parliamentary group meeting, as he was particularly lashing out at the investigation. Baykal had met the promise he made in a battle of words with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and claimed to come to the defense of the �armed gang.�

Baykal as Ergenekon advocate:
My acquaintance appeared on a television program the other day and said something that even I didn't expect to hear from him. He praised the three prosecutors, primarily the Chief Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz. �They know what they do and they have full control over the case. These are very special prosecutors and are very intelligent too.� His statement went against what a certain media group reflects.

If people reading some certain newspapers, articles by their editors-in-chief and columnists, or if spectators who watched their sarcastic remarks about the investigation and about the prosecutors, and if some others who listened to Baykal's address had heard what my acquaintance said spending four days under arrest, they would have been appalled.

Circles who disdain the Ergenekon probe, shrug their shoulders to such an organization and want to cast a shadow over the prosecutors' capacities, and who exist in the spectrum stretching from the main opposition party to the media can be shocked in the days to come that they have gotten into a fight that is impossible for them to win.

Of course I wouldn't know the course of the case once the Ergenekon indictment is released, and neither would I know how the court would proceed and conclude the case. But there is one thing I am certain about: The �coup� mentality was doomed beyond hope of the recovery in sense of community. Groups who seemed to be complaining about being labeled as �pro-coup,� although they are not so, they claim, and who took the role of the �aggrieved� in the �fear's empire,� are now being caught red-handed by a sense of community.

We know them. We have known them since the Feb. 28 process. We have known some through the May 27 and some the Sept. 12 military coup periods. Yet some proclaim May 27 was not a coup but a �revolution� because the May 27 coup was made by their �junta.� But all are against the March 12 because their �junta� was lost to it and they had to head to the Ziverbey Mansion where they were kept in. But they are not against the Feb. 28 process. And yet they are split among themselves too. Some said that they were pleased to wake up into the morning of the Sept. 12 coup and assumed duty later on in the Feb. 28 process. Although a few confess that major newspapers printing stories linking certain figures to terrorist groups, apparently on orders from the General Staff on Feb. 28, was a scandal, very few oppose the Feb. 28; in fact they have nothing to say against the Sept. 12 coup either.

Since they are labeled as �pro-coup,� they act like the �wronged� of �fear's empire,� but they did everything in their power to brush aside the Ergenekon prosecutors and the investigation involving a few important personas, such as Veli Küçük, Kemal Kerinçsiz and Doğu Perinçek. So they have never said out loud that they are the �coup opponents.�

The colonels' new life:

I was in a bank yesterday. A bank cashier smiled at me and said, �Attitudes of retired colonels have changed.� Before July 1, these retired officers were approaching the bench without having the need to get in line and to wait for their turn. According to the cashier, the retirees were scolding personnel for addressing them, �Yes, my colonel,� and they were asking bank officers not to utter their titles.

Is this a �neighborhood pressure?� Or is it how the Ergenekon investigation claimed its place in a sense of community? Perhaps it is a golden opportunity for the Turkish Armed Forces to reclaim their �institutional prestige.�

I am thrilled to see the days in which circles claiming to be �patriots� without showing any affection towards people or society recklessly label others as �traitors� and then acting under the guise of the �aggrieved� and the �wronged� in the �empire of fear�…