One cannot believe Turkey’s official denial of the Armenian genocide. But there are some individual Turks, whose courage is unbelievable too. We all heard about Turkish world-known novelist Orhan Pamuk going to trial for referring to the Armenian genocide. But he is not alone. There are Turks who risk everything they have to speak about the Armenian genocide. Consider a recent article by Ayşe Günaysu, who, I don’t know, where is going to end up for writing this piece…

This Country Loved Its Ağcas Very Much

By Ayşe Günaysu

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The recent release of Mehmet Ağca from jail generated on different fronts a wide range of reactions. Yet Ağca is not the only member of a gang of murderers of his generation; like Abdullah Çatlı, İbrahim Çiftçi or Haluk Kırca, he is the descendant of a long tradition. This tradition is that employing for the interests of the motherland convicts to establish and use secret organizations, commit crimes, and ignore the execution of crimes. [With such precedence] the release of Agca is neither surprising nor unexpected.

This tradition goes all the way back to the days of the [Turkish] Independence Struggle. The Karakol organization, a continuation of the Union and Progress, was one of the most important organizations that prepared the independence struggle. This organization helped the CUP members who were wanted for the massacres committed against the Armenians and Greeks escape to Anatolia and join the independence struggle. Indeed, a significant proportion of the Nationalist Forces comprised of members of the Special Organization [Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa] who were mostly ex-convicts released from prisons in order to massacre the Armenians. The founders of the Nationalist Forces in the Marmara region included Dayı Mesut, Yahya Kaptan, Kara Arslan and İpsiz Recep who were pursued for their role in perpetrating the Armenian genocide and had therefore fled to the hills. The one who united these bands (çetes) was no other than Yenibahçeli Şükrü, a member of the Special Organization.

One of the heroes of the Black Sea region independence struggle, Topal Osman, owes his fame to none other than his massacres of the Kurds in Koçgiri, and Greeks and Armenians in the Black Sea region. Lieutenant Colonel Halit and Ahmet Barutçu from the same region are also members of the Special Organization and also participated in the Armenian massacres. Lt. Colonel Halit, later known as General Halit was being pursued by the authorities because of his role [as a perpetrator] during the Armenian massacres; he [therefore] had to lead his [military] division from his hiding place.

Celal Bayar, the leading person in the Aegean region who organized the national resistance against the Greeks, was likewise sought by the authorities in relation to his role in the actualization of Greek and Armenian deportations. Additionally, Colonel Avni Bey had been indicted due to his role in the Adana deportations [of the Armenians] and was in hiding. The members of the Special Organization, namely Captain Süleyman Sururi, Serezli Pehlivan, Kaymakam Köprülü Hamdi Bey, Izmir’s ex-police chief Hacı Muhiddin Efendi were all important characters of the Aegean Turkish national resistance. Taner Akçam, in his book “Human Rights and the Armenian Question, explains [the activities of] all these in great detail.

The historian Ahmet Refik’s book entitled Two Committees, Two Massacres contains a very interesting observation. Çerkez Ahmet, the “darling” in Ahmet Refik’s words of the Union and Progress, was one of the major perpetrators of the Armenian genocide. Because he had murdered Krikor Zohrab in Diyarbekir by crushing his head, he had, according to Cemal Pasha, gone “too far.” The former was therefore seized and sent to Istanbul. Ahmet Refik tells of his interview with him at the Eskisehir train station: “Brother,” [Çerkez Ahmet] said, “this situation hurts my honor. I served this country. Go and see. I turned Van and its environs into a desert. You can not find a single Armenian left there. I served the [Turkish] nation all the time. And then ruffians like that Talaat, while they drink cold beers in Istanbul, I am being transported like this. This is really so denigrating.”

The Turkish State has had [such] dark relationships and affairs in all its periods. The September 6-7 1955 events were started by false rumors that “the Greeks had bombed Atatürk’s house in Thessaloniki.” In reality, the bomb was planted by a Turk named Oktay Engin. This same Oktay Engin later assumed important positions at the MIT (Turkish Secret Service) and even served as governor at various Turkish provinces. It is also interesting to note that during an interview published in various magazines Retired General Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu boasted that: “the September 6-7 affairs were the work of the Special Combat Unit. It was perfectly organized and reached its goals.”

Yes, the tradition is ancient and still in existence. There is nothing to be surprised about.

Notes by Blogian:

Turkish original of this article appeared in Ozgur Gundem on 17 January 2006. English translation received through e-mail communication from a Turkish professor.

Last year alone, Azerbaijani and Turkish sources published information about several crimes committed by Turkish and Azerbaijani agents and terrorists that were done under ASALA’s (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia) name.

Ironically, Ağca, a member of the Turkish terrorist Grey Wolves group, was also proclaimed “an Armenian terrorist” after he tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II (still many ignorant newspapers refer to Ağca as “Armenian”)