Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Ergenekon has its roots in Cyprus

When Andreas Papandreou famously said in 1971 that ‘Cyprus lies at the heart of the tragic political developments that have led to the death of democracy in Greece’, he meant that it was the inability of Greece’s politicians to impose the Acheson plan on Cyprus – and the resistance of figures like Papandreou to such a plan – that helped convince the CIA to conspire with its Greek underlings to bring about a government in Athens less committed to Cypriot and Greek national interests and more committed to US/NATO interests, which demanded a diminishing of Greco-Turkish confrontation through the partitioning of Cyprus.

(Some would also argue that junta characters like Giorgos Papadopoulos and Dimitris Ioannides picked up clandestine para-state tips and attitudes through their involvement in Cyprus and were, for example, the sort of men in the Greek military in 1963, during intercommunal violence on the island, that certain Cypriots – like Nikos Sampson, Polykarpos Giorgadjis and Vassos Lyssarides – could go to when looking for weaponry and expertise when the official Greek state wasn’t prepared to provide them. The irony being that having derived their taste for conspiracy and political violence in Cyprus, Papadopoulos and Ioannides turned against the island when the survival of the junta became more important to them).

It can’t come as any surprise, therefore, that the Turkish ultranationalist deep-state organisation Ergenekon, members of which are currently on trial in Turkey for sedition, terrorism and so on, according to the Turkish media, and reported by Nikos Stelgias in the Cyprus edition of Kathimerini, also has its roots in Cyprus and, in particular, in the Turkish Cypriot terrorist gangs it helped organise, man and operate in the 1950s and 1960s.

According to Stelgias (my translation): ‘New testimony and information coming to light in the Turkish media reveals that the Ergenekon network was established in the 1950s in Cyprus and had as its basic goal the consolidation of the actions of Turkish Cypriot armed groups. 

‘On Tuesday, Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, which maintains close ties with Turkish government circles, in its inside pages and under the headline “Ergenekon was set up in Cyprus”, writes that former naval officer Erol Mütercimler, accused of being part of the Ergenekon conspiracy, told investigators that Brigadier General Memduh Ünlütürk revealed to him that Ergenekon was established in Cyprus in the 1950s.

‘Mütercimler said that Ergenekon was established to “protect” the Turkish Cypriots and some of its formative members were the Cyprus-born Alparslan Turkes, the [notorious] founder of the far-right Nationalist Action Party; Turgut Sunalp, founder of the Nationalist Democracy Party; and many other members of the Turkish military.'

The involvement in Cyprus of some of Turkish politics’ most lurid figures is not new information – retired General Sabri Yirmimbesoglou, who served in Cyprus in the 1950s and 1960s in his country’s Special Warfare Department, confessed in 2010 to sabotage and the burning down of mosques to ‘stir up the Turkish Cypriots’ – but it is a reminder that the partitioning of Cyprus is rooted in an aggressive and expansionist Turkish national ideology that, unlike the nationalism or, more correctly, the pseudo-nationalism, of the Greek junta, continues to inform Turkey’s attitudes to its neighbours. Indeed, we note that the Ergenekon investigation in Turkey is not really interested in confronting Kemalist ultranationalism but anti-Islamist opponents of the AK party government. 


Makis said...

Who might it be arguing that Papadopoulos and Ioannides 'picked up clandestine para-state tips in Cyprus' and were the go-to men for Yiorkatzis and Lyssarides? Isn't it the loathsome Makarios Droushiotis who makes this argument?

John Akritas said...

I don't know if it's just Droushiotis; but he certainly does describe an incident with Giorgadjis going to Averof's office in 1961 – Averof was Greece's FM at this time – and saying that the Greek Cypriots needed guns since conflict on the island was inevitable and Averof throwing him out, prompting Giorgadjis to ask Giorgos Papadopoulos to supply the weaponry, which he did through ELDYK. But Droushiotis goes on to make the stupid assertion that since people like Papadopoulos and Ioannides served in Cyprus and, according to him, had been encouraged by Makarios and his associates to become involved in Cyprus before 1967, Cypriots were somehow responsible for the junta assuming power and reaped what they sowed with the coup in 1974.

Hermes said...

I read some of Droushiotis's articles and he appears to be a typical Cypriot useful idiot. Am I right?

John Akritas said...

I don't know about 'useful'.

He's one of these self-appointed demythologisers, who blames everything on nationalism and so on. He gets quite a lot of death threats, I understand.

Hermes said...

"Useful idiot" was a term used during the Cold War for so called pro-Soviet Leftists in the West, who lauded the Soviet Union at the expense of their own nations. "Useful" meaning they were useful to the Soviets. Based on your comments I think the term useful idiot accurately describes Droushiotis. He is useful to the destroyers of nations, families and human dignity that populate the centres of Western power, Greece and Cyprus.

Hermes said...

John, I know this unrelated, and you may have seen it before, but below is a tremendous video of a Greek version of This is Your Life about Patrick Leigh Fermour. As the blogger states, "Greek television had their own version [This is Your Life], and in 1972 it was Paddy’s turn to be embarrassed and surprised by meeting again people that he had come across in his life. His surprise and clear delight at meeting with the ‘Abduction Gang’ of Cretan Andartes is clear. The ‘senior’ partisans, Manoli and George are the first two guests, and they seem barely changed. The highlight must be when the presenter introduces a slightly frail General Heinrich Kreipe. Paddy is delighted to see him again, and immediately starts to talk to the General in German saying how good it is to see him after all these years. I am amused as one of the Cretans takes the General’s arm to help him sit down; maybe he did the same before on that road to the Villa Ariadne, but was perhaps a little less gentle on that occasion! There follows what is one of television’s most wonderful scenes as Paddy acts as translator answering the presenter in Greek and then switching back to German to speak to the General."

Great footage!! Enjoy