writes Ehmed Pelda for Yeni Yaşam over the debates that have restarted concerning state-mafia links in Turkey after Sedat Peker’s claims.hose who survived by blood and violence have expanded their influence areas, spreading their powers over politics, the mafia and smuggling. They took control of the drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe and they established networks through mafia organisations, especially in big cities and touristic regions,”
The interest is huge, the organisation is complicated. As a result of the violence of the 1990s, identified through the names of Mehmet Ağar, Tansu Çiller and Doğan Güreş, seventeen thousand executions were added to the list of ‘unidentified murders’. About four thousand villages were burned out. Millions of people were forced to leave their villages, towns and cities.
Those who survived by blood and violence have expanded their influence areas, spreading their powers over politics, the mafia and smuggling. They took control of the drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe and they established networks through mafia organisations, especially in big cities and touristic regions. Special military forces penetrated the upper levels of the mafia. The mafia penetrated the upper levels of the special military forces and so they made the ‘paramilitary mechanism’ dominant all over the country.
Bashure [North] Kurdistan’s petrol turned into an opporunity for Turkey. Huge amounts of petrol flew into Turkey and to other markets in unofficial ways. Petrol pipelines, truck and ship fleets were established to illegally transport petrol to the market. The interest of politicians, mafia groups and merchants over ships is because of this trade, actually.
In addition to petrol or commercial products, camouflaged drugs have also been included in this trade. In Azerbaijan, Aliyev and privileged groups, who have wanted to use petrol for their personal interests instead have chosen Turkey as the ‘most proper country’ for this purpose. Moreover, Iran was also added in this framework in an attempt to to break the embargo imposed on them.
Turkey was always appealing, because it was providing transportation, giving privileges to the informal economy and was providing the opportunity for Azeri, Kurdish and Persian interest groups to utilize their wealth in Turkey. Thanks to their commissions, investments and business partnerships, politicians, privileged groups, members of the mafia and bureaucracy have doubled their wealth in Turkey.
The war in Syria has created new opportunities for the ‘dark’ elites in Turkey. In addition to petrol and drug smuggling, human trafficking and the arms trade have become a new source of income. Petrol from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and weapons from different markets flowed through Turkey, thanks to the mafia, politicians and paramilitary organisations, especially the Turkish intelligence agency MIT.
From Iran to Libya, from Qatar to Syria, from the Mediterranean to Ukraine, from Afghanistan to Europe, gangs centred in Turkey traded in drugs, weapons, petrol, and militants. They used all means of transportation, from boats to ships and luxury yachts, from government planes to private jets, with new investments.
Sheikhs, tribe leaders, oligarchs, mafia leaders, drug dealers, all kinds of smugglers were hosted in Turkey as the highest protocol guests: they have benefited from all kinds of privileges.
This wheel is still rotating with the help of internal and external networks, despite the fact that it is covered up with such discourses of ‘flag, nation, war against terrorism’. It is inevitable that in such a huge informal system, some units and forces will be in conflict with each other. Unless there is an international intervention or organised resistance of the people, this current system will continue to re-assert itself.