ISTANBUL – TDN with wire dispatches
All jailed suspects linked to the Ergenekon investigation will be transferred to Istanbul's Silivri Prison, the Istanbul court hearing the case decided yesterday. The court took the decision due to the fact that the number of plaintiffs was high and that suspects were jailed in different prisons and decided that the trial would take place in a courtroom within Silivri Prison.
The Ergenekon case started after the discovery of 27 hand grenades on June 12, 2007 in a shanty house officer in Istanbul's Ümraniye district that belonged to a retired noncommissioned officer. The grenades were found to be of the same make as those used in the attacks on daily Cumhuriyet's Istanbul offices in 2006.
The findings led to scores of detentions, placing more than 100 journalists, writers, gang leaders and politicians under interrogation in what turned into a terror investigation that seeks to crack down on an alleged ultra-nationalist gang named Ergenekon, which sought to topple the government by staging a coup in 2009 by initially spreading chaos and mayhem. Ergenekon is originally a pre-Islamic Turkish saga that tells of Turks' re-emergence from defeat by trickery of their enemies under the guidance of a gray wolf.
Earlier bombings of daily Cumhuriyet, the murder of Hrant Dink, the murder of the top judge of the Council of State and alleged plans for the assassination of high-profile figures in Turkish politics are sometimes associated with the case.
Police likewise raided the houses of 11 people on March 21 in a previous wave of detentions, including Cumhuriyet's chief columnist and licensee, İlhan Selçuk, 83; Workers' Party, or İP, leader Doğu Perinçek; and a former rector of Istanbul University. The list of detainees includes retired generals, Şener Eruygur and Hürşid Tolon, and retired Major Gen. Veli Küçük.
Many detainees are retired officials who gathered in associations linked to the ultra-nationalist Kuvayi Milliye (National Forces) – a reference to irregular forces that led the Turkish independence war back in the early 1920s.
The court last Friday accepted the indictment lodged by the prosecutor's office against 86 suspects accused of attempted murder, founding a terrorist organization and trying to ferment tension to facilitate a military coup and set the trial date for Oct. 20 and sent letters to the Justice Ministry and relevant prisons about the relocation.
No influence from Ergenekon
Meanwhile, the office of Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya issued a written statement denying reports that he had filed a lawsuit against the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, because the Ergenekon gang inculcated him to do so. The closure cases were opened to preserve the democratic order and are not affected by political statements or developments, the statement read.
The Ergenekon indictment alleges that the gang influenced Yalçınkaya to file a lawsuit against the ruling party.