Winner of the New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy 2016

Friday 6 January 2012

Conspiracy within conspiracy in Turkey?

We have all seen films where some large network of conspirators plots to overthrow the state. We have also seen films where some arm of the state manufactures evidence against some individuals. There is probably at least one where a journalist uncovers the plot, and then falls victim to the same fabrication. One is a conspiracy against the state, the other is a conspiracy by part of the state.
                The Ergenekon conspiracy in Turkey has to be one of these two. So far hundreds have been arrested as part of this and associated plots, the latest being a former head of the army. Those arrested are not just army officers, but also journalists critical of the government, and academics. The analyst Gareth Jenkins suggests that “not only is the evidence ... deeply flawed, there are also increasing indications that much of it has been fabricated.” In more measured diplomatic language, the EU’s Turkey 2011 Progress Report says (p7)

concerns remain over the handling of investigations, judicial proceedings and the application of criminal procedures putting at risk the rights of the defence. The lack of any authoritative source of information on all these issues of wide public interest from either the prosecution offices or the courts raises similar concerns. All of this raised concerns in the public about the legitimacy of the cases.

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