Hanefi Avcı, author of the recently published book “The Simons of the Golden Horn: Yesterday the State, today the religious community [cemaat]” which claimed (should we say revealed?) that followers of the Fethullah Gülen religious movement have installed themselves in very important positions in Turkey’s police force, illegally tapping people’s telephones and fabricating evidence for the Ergenekon fable.
Avcı is the police chief of the city of Eskişehir and had similar jobs in a number of other cities. He also headed other intelligence organisations and was in line, some years ago, to take charge at MİT, the Turkish intelligence agency. Avcı has a reputation for fishing out illegal activities and groups wherever and whatever he’s thrown at. This time he went a step too far. Only a week after the referendum that is supposed to make Turkey more democratic – when in fact it’s another step into an Islamic dictatorship – Avcı was thrown into detention soon after the release of his book.
I have yet to read the book, but it’s interesting to see the national and international media’s reaction. Here is a quote from Gareth Jenkins’ short report about the book, written before Avcı was arrested. Jenkins is a scholar at a research and policy centre of Johns Hopkins University, the Silk Road Institute:
The title of the book evokes Avcı’s posting to Istanbul in the early 1990s. His journey home from work used to take him across the inlet of the Golden Horn, which was then so heavily polluted that it could be smelled long before it was visible. Even so, says Avcı, every evening he would see people picnicking on its banks as if oblivious to the stifling stench; in the same way that Turks would pretend to be unaware of their own corrupt political and judicial system.
The “Simon” in the title appears to be a reference to the codename of a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant who reputedly sentenced his sister to death despite knowing that she was innocent; an attitude which Avcı claims has now been adopted by Gülen’s followers in the police force, judiciary and media with regard to a string of high profile politically motivated court cases against the movement’s perceived opponents – such as the notorious Ergenekon investigation.
Avcı’s CV speaks for itself. He started to upset the AKP when he investigated corruption in contracts made with the Ministry of Energy and discovered some characters that were close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was quickly removed from his post and given a low profile job in Edirne. He’s claimed that he was forced out by Gülen movement people, which have infiltrated all state institutions in Turkey, including the Army, with the hope of starting an Islamic revolution from within in the coming years. All this while the European Union applauds the new constitution, knowing very well where Turkey is heading and they won’t have to accept the country into the EU.
Avcı was officially taken away from his home not because he wrote a book (that wouldn’t look good), but because he’s alleged to have ties to a small time Communist revolutionary group (sincere apologies for linking to CNN), the Revolutionary Headquarters (Devrimci Karargah). Avcı continues refusing to answer questions by the police that he deems “illegal” and has refused to talk to the media. He had been due, before his arrest came about, to give a press conference today (30 September 2010), presumably about the claims he made in his book.
The AKP and their neo-Islamist religious supporters, whilst trying desperately to look amicable, sweet and cuddly to the world community, with phrases like “inter-faith dialogue”, “moderate Islam” and “Muslim democrats” being attached to them to their absolute joy, are facing backlash from the standard practice of human rights. They can only fight the quest for justice with lies and fabrications such as Ergenekon and disinformation through their growing portfolio of media outlets. They can only silence people by force or detaining them for years without any solid evidence and ignoring counter-evidence.
The Avcı case should be followed very closely.corruption, ergenekon, Fethullah, freedom of speech, politics, religion