Relationships between the mafia and the state have began to be discussed by much wider circles in Turkey following the Turkish mafia boss Sedat Peker’s accusations against politicians of the ruling Justice and Development Party, (AKP) of involvement in drug-traficking and murders.
But human rights activists in Turkey have been discussing these mafia/state relationships in the context of unsolved murders and disappearences in Turkey for decades and have been working to get the perpetrators of these crimes brought to justice.
The most prominant and well known of these activists is Eren Keskin, a lawyer and the co-chair of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD). Keskin told Jin News that none of the statements of Sedat Peker came as a surprise to the human rights defenders.
“We all know about the state and its structure. This is not something new. We saw the structure of the state in the 1990s. But this structure of the 1990s has become a tradition. Part of an ideology built up in this region was to cover up the crimes committed by the state,” she said.
“Actually what is being discussed today about the deep-state or mafia-state relations all go back to the past.”
What Sedat Peker exposes according to Keskin, “is of course, important, because these are the words of a person who actually worked as part of the state. But the bitter-tasting part of this is that all this is being discussed based on his statement. We, as human rights defenders have spoken out about these names for many years.”
But nobody has listened to what human rights defenders were saying, she criticised, “because there is a system of law built that never listens to us. This is a system of institutionalised impunity,” she said.
The IHD co-chair shared her opinion that whenever the debate about the deep-state happens, the state authorities always use the excuse of war against the Kurds.
“This state always needs an enemy. And that enemy has aways been the Kurds, because they were the most visible and active in the scene of struggle,” she said.
She went on: “Look at what happens today, when somethings have begun to be discussed the state, again, instantly announces how many people they have killed. ‘We have carried out operations here and there,’ is all what they say.”
Keskin believes that all that society experiences today, with the confessions of Sedat Peker, is simply a “reflection of the situation of the will of the state, which does not solve the Kurdish question.”
“Unless the Kurdish question is solved, unless the red lines of the official ideology is confronted, this structure will maintain its existence,” she said.
Keskin recalled the Roboski massacre and the killings of Kemal Kurkut, Ceylan Önkol and Hrant Dink and echoed the questions that human rights defenders have long been waiting for an answer from the state authorities:
“Where is the killer of Kemal Kurkut? What happened to Ceylan Önkol? Who were the perperators of the Roboski massacre? Who killed Hrant Dink? “