Monday, December 17, 2012

Special Warfare and Christians

There are some real life stories in Turkey that can only be narrated by masterful directors without giving you the feeling that the movie is unrealistically exaggerating them. These are stories unique to Turkey: When you tell them exactly as they are, you may create the feeling of sensation and surrealism for the people who listen to you.

They are so real, but the sense of realism can only be given by a creative artist. Let me explain to you what I mean by telling you a story. Imagine you watch this film about Turkey shot by a Turkish director: A Turkish sergeant major penetrates into the Christian community as a result of orders he received from his superiors. In a short while he is accepted by the Christian community as a member, he starts doing missionary activities across the country, distributing thousands and thousands of Bibles on the streets in shops and other places. He invited Turks to become Christians.

Meanwhile, he becomes one of the prominent figures in the community he penetrated; he even becomes a pastor and establishes his own church. However, his commanders then send him a second order saying that he has completed the first phase of his mission, and that he now needs to be a Muslim once again. But this of course needs to be done publicly.

He starts to appear on one TV channel after another, explaining that he has become enlightened, that he saw the “ugly” face of Christians and therefore became a Muslim once again. Following his dramatic appearances on TV channels, quite an intense psychological lynch campaign starts all over Turkey. And this lynch campaign is followed by physical attacks and murders.

If you watch all these in a movie on screen I am sure you would tell yourself the film exaggerated everything to a great extent. However, all these unbelievable things happened in Turkey starting from 2005 onwards.

İlker Çınar, one of the key witnesses in the Malatya massacre case, which concerned the brutal and tragic murder of three missionaries in 2007 in Malatya, revealed all this and explained in great detail how he manipulated Turkish public opinion in the past. The authenticity of his statement will be established at the end of a court trial, of course. However, we already know beyond a reasonable doubt that some of the key elements in his narrative are indisputably true. First of all, these dramatic TV appearances are something we all saw with our own eyes. And again we saw the documents in the court files showing that he was receiving salaries from the General Staff both during his missionary activities and while declaring on TV channels that he had once again become a Muslim.

Çınar said that all the orders he received reached him in sealed envelopes or by telephone. He explained extremely interesting details in his statements to the prosecutors and the court. He said that after receiving an order to appear on a TV channel, he would then receive an invitation from the said TV channel. Apparently, the commanders who give him orders for public appearances had a lot of friends in the media, at universities and in many different places. Their network was so efficient that they were able to arrange TV programs for a sergeant to appear on most popular TV channels during primetime.

I remembered all these stories once again while reading a report from the parliamentary commission investigating military coups. The report turns our attention to the Special Warfare Department, which was associated with many past atrocities before, starting with the Sept. 6-7 pogroms that targeted non-Muslims in İstanbul in 1955.

The report tells us that this department, which was established in the 1950s against the so-called Soviet invasion (as happened in many NATO countries in those years), was involved in many atrocities against civilians during this whole period of time.

One of the interesting details in this report says that the estimated numbers of civilians connected to this center is over 100,000. These people are from all walks of life, from merchants to peasants, from doctors to journalists; they are called “white forces.” This is a hidden army designed to wage civil resistance to any invasion, but apparently all these civil elements were somehow involved in the dirty work of this department.

Quite interestingly, Çınar also mentioned these so-called white forces in his statement in connection with psychological warfare against Christians. When I put all these stories and information side by side, new questions marks come to mind. Might these people who invited Çınar to speak on TV and who organized conferences for him at respected universities in Turkey and arranged all other things be somehow a part of these white forces? There are so many other questions to be asked, and I hope they will be able to answer some of them in the near future.

No comments: