The United States and Ergenekon “Deep State” in Turkey
CONFERENCE ON DEEP STATE, ERGENEKON, AND TURKEY’S CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM (15 September 2010) — One of the most sensitive aspects to the current exposure by the Turkish government of the Ergenekon terror network in Turkey is the links the group have with similar “Gladio” and “false flag” terrorist networks in other nations, including the United States, Russia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Israel, and France. A number of Turkish officials told me that such links have been established by many of these political leaders and human rights leaders were reluctant to describe the closeness of the relations between Ergenekon, a shadowy network of military officers, politicians, judges, businessmen, professors, drug cartels, terrorist groups, and journalists, to similar “deep state” organizations in other countries.
A Turkish parliamentary inquiry discovered links between Ergenekon and the U.S. embassy in Ankara and former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Marc Grossman, and his military attache, Major Douglas Dickerson, were recalled from Ankara in 1997 after it was discovered that they were involved with Ergenekon elements in trying to overthrow the government of Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev. Grossman is currently the vice chairman of the Cohen Group, founded by former Defense Secretary William Cohen. Grossman also serves on the board of trustees of Istanbul’s Roberts College, a one-time American university that counted two Turkish Prime Ministers and scores of Turkish cabinet ministers, businessmen and diplomats among its alumni. The college is now a lycee, a private preparatory high school.
The citizens of Turkey recently voted in a referendum and approved 26 constitutional amendments that will transform Turkey into a democratic state without the threat of the military and national security state-affiliated judiciary trumping the power of the Parliament and the people. Neocons have condemned the referendum as a threat to secularism in Turkey and a move to an Islamic state. However, the neocons and their allies in Israel are concerned that a Mossad -and CIA-imposed Turkish “Deep State” has finally seen its power largely destroyed with the impending adoption of a new Turkish Constitution. The referendum, which passed with 58 percent of the vote, is a victory for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
I have recently discovered a formerly Secret document from the U.S. Department of State that confirms the United States not only supported the Turkish military coup that ousted the nation’s democratically-elected government in 1980 but actively supported the military-imposed Turkish Constitution as “reformist.” Many of the roots of the creation of the most recent variant of the Turkish Deep State, known as Ergenekon, can be seen in the State Department policy paper dated September 5, 1981, and titled “USG Policy toward Turkey.” When the State Department document was drafted, Turkey’s military junta leader, General Kenan Evren, was drafting the present Turkish Constitution. The 1981 Turkish military draft Constitution’s “reforms” were referred to in the State Department policy document’s author Lawrence Eagleburger, the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs: “It is too early to judge whether the fundamental GOT reforms, now in place or in prospect, will succeed.” The document also talks about the “relief” provided to the United States by the 1980 military coup: “The military takeover of September 1980 brought temporary relief and for the moment broke the back of radical movements — including pro-Islamic ones — which had come to the fore in the 1970s.”
Eagleburger signalled his and the Reagan administration’s support for the Turkish junta because of the same bogus reasons that neocons today criticize the Erdogan government: the bogeyman of Turkish Islamic political power. Eagleburger warned that Turkey could “drift away from NATO and Western-style government; alignment with Middle East states which supply oil and markets; possibly even neutralism growing out of accommodations with the USSR.” Today, the neocons, Israelis, and their Ergenekon allies in Turkey argue the same points in demonizing the Turkish government: that Turkey is drifting from NATO, that it is turning to oil suppliers and markets like Iran, and has a growing relationship with Russia.
Eagleburger then outlines how the Reagan administration would cement U.S. ties with Turkey to prevent the above scenarios from being realized. He writes: “. . .the Turkish-American relationship has no natural constituency in terms of shared history, economic interdependence, ethic or family ties. The absence of a ‘Turkish lobby’ in the United States is indicative.” Two of the recipients of the Eagleburger document would later help fill the void and help create the American Turkish Council (ATC), a lobby group patterned after their friends at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Those two recipients of the Eagleburger document were Richard Perle, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, and Paul Wolfowitz, Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. Other recipients of the Eagleburger policy document on Turkey included Robert Hormats, the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs [and who is now the Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs under Hillary Clinton]; Ronald Spiers, the director of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 1977 to 1980; and the prospective U.S. ambassador to Pakistan; Richard Burt, the Director of Politico-Military Affairs for the State Department; and Nicholas Veliotes, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.
The nature of the bilateral U.S.-Turkish relations were described as a “best effort” to help Turkey in all respects, including an “understanding” of Turkey’s position in Greek-Turkish issues and dealing with “Armenian terrorism.” In 1981, Armenia was a constituent republic of the USSR. Today, it is “Kurdish terrorism” that plagues Turkey since Armenia is now an independent state with a natural and politically-powerful constituency in the United States. The Eagleburger document describes the Evren junta as perceiving the Reagan administration as making a “best effort” in providing financial support to Turkey from Washington’s “weighing in” on the “International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Saudis, and other potential donors.”
Eagleburger also warns of “nettlesome” issues that could adversely affect U.S. relations with the Turkish junta, for example, “Congressional badgering on Cyprus, on relations with Greece, on the pace of return to democracy, and an Armenian niche in the proposed Holocaust Museum.” The United States, through an alliance with Israel and its influence peddlers in Washington, would ensure that the Turkish pace of democracy would not return to normal until the recent approval by the Turkish people of a new Constitution that will eradicate the Turkish junta’s military “reforms” championed by Eagleburger and his band of proto-neocons in the Reagan administration in 1981. Attempts over the past eight years by Ergenekon to overthrow the AKP government failed and with the new constitutional changes, Ergenekon’s and Israel’s ability to influence events in Turkish politics have been curtailed, save for the continuing threat of covert Israeli provocation of terrorism involving the Kurds.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author, nationally-distributed columnist, and editor of WayneMadsenReport.com. He has written for The Village Voice, The Progressive, Counterpunch, Online Journal, CorpWatch, Multinational Monitor, News Insider, In These Times, and The American Conservative. His columns have appeared in The Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, and Philadelphia Inquirer, and he is a contributer on Russia Todayand frequently appears on Al Jazeera and Press TV.