Turkey: A Period of decay, invaded by societal cancerous cells

"A society that becomes accustomed to crime is a society in decay. In my opinion, this is the most severe and pressing issue in Turkey."

November 3 was the 27th anniversary of the Susurluk Scandal. We have moved from the Susurluk era to the Neo-Susurluk era. The most frightening thing is that the reflexes of society have almost wholly disappeared. A society that gets used to crime is a society in decay.

Last Friday was November 3, the 27th anniversary of the Susurluk Accident or Scandal.


What was the Susurluk Scandal?

"The scandal erupted on November 3, 1996, at around 19:25 on the Balikesir-Bursa highway at the Catalceviz locality of Susurluk district due to a traffic accident that revealed state-police-mafia relations. It is one of the most significant scandals in the history of the Republic of Turkey.

Following the accident, there was a public outcry for exposing illicit relationships within the 'state-politics-mafia' triangle. Utilizing civil society movements, such as 'One Minute of Darkness for Perpetual Light,' and backed by media support, the public demanded transparency and the revelation of these covert activities and connections."


Have the illegal relations in the "state-politics-mafia" triangle been revealed?

The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the Prime Ministry Inspection Board, and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey's (TBMM) Susurluk Commission each prepared comprehensive reports about the scandal. In particular, the TBMM Susurluk Commission report unveiled the full extent of these intricate relationships. Additionally, a judicial process was set in motion to handle the matter.

To delve deeper into the details of this scandal, you can visit Wikipedia and search for "Susurluk Scandal." There, you will find a detailed account of the items discovered within the wreckage of the accident, further revealing the scandal's alarming magnitude. Witness firsthand the chilling extent of this controversy.


Following the uncovering of the scandal, a period of intense upheaval began for the state. It felt like the state, on the verge of self-destruction, desperately tried to reclaim its stability.

At the time, it appeared that the scandal likened to a malignant tumor, was being surgically removed. However, no preventative measures were taken to stop it from spreading further.

The ruling class at the time eroded the rule of law, which naturally allowed for the spread of this metaphorical tumor. This resulted in the mafia becoming a prominent and pervasive reality in society.

Today, as we uncover more about the sinister connections between the political elite, the mafia, and the judicial system, we can better understand how this malignancy has since spread and engulfed the entire sociopolitical body. The aftermath of the Susurluk scandal had far-reaching consequences that continue to be felt today.


Fikri Saglar, a former TBMM's Susurluk Commission member, has analyzed the 27-year process. He says:

"One significant difference between then and now is that 27 years ago, Turkey upheld the rule of law. Today, the judiciary is neither independent nor impartial and operates under directives.

Back then, the judiciary sentenced the perpetrators of the Susurluk incident to a minimum of 5 years in prison. Mehmet Agar, the Interior Minister then, was forced to resign within a week. All the political parties in the parliament came together in agreement to establish a commission.

However, today, Turkey is a haven for many of the world's gangs and mafias."


Yet today, Turkey has become a sanctuary for various global gangs and mafias. They use Turkey as a base to conduct their illegal operations globally. They are even granted passports by the government.

In its 27th year, we see a regression from being a vibrant democratic country. This is a consequence of a one-person regime. Social organization has disintegrated as the judicial system intimidates trade unions and civil society organizations.

The media is under intense scrutiny, with attempts being made to silence those trying to report the truth. Journalists like Tolga Sardan, who uncovers the gang organization within the judiciary, are being arrested.

Citizens must remember the necessity of ousting this government in the local elections. Otherwise, Turkey risks becoming akin to Mexico or Bolivia - a nation where mafias rule, gang wars persist, and the country is under the control of gangs.

The imperialist powers that support these gangs have used their influence to steer Turkey in a direction far from its original course."


In the recently released Global Organized Crime Index 2023, Turkey ranked first in Europe and 14th globally.

The question arises - why?

The following excerpt from the report provides ample explanation: "A large number of groups, styled after the traditional mafia, operate in Turkey. These groups are reported to have forged strong ties with the government and political figures, thereby gaining protection from law enforcement and the judiciary."


The report unveils other shocking discoveries: "Like human trafficking, corrupt government officials are found to facilitate human smuggling. There are claims in news reports that actors linked to the state and legitimate businesses are directly involved in this illegal market.

Fuel smuggling stands as one of the most profitable income sources for organized crime groups in Turkey, profiting from the demand for cheaper oil and the chance to generate tax revenue from selling smuggled oil, notably from Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Turkey's geographical location positions it as a source, transit, and destination country for the heroin trade.

Historically, Turkey has not been a part of the international cocaine trafficking route. However, the recent increase in the quantity of cocaine seized is believed to result from a change in transportation routes brought about by a high number of seizures in the Americas and Europe. Consequently, Turkey is emerging as a significant transit country for cocaine trafficking targeting Southeast and Eastern Europe."


Even though the CHP (Republican People's Party) convention was the focus this past weekend, there are far deeper issues plaguing our society that the political establishment seems to be overlooking. These issues are clearly outlined in the "Organized Crime Index."

We are witnessing a disheartening unraveling process where the principles of economics and law have been compromised, and our constitution, the foundation of our state and society, has been disregarded. We have transitioned from the Susurluk period to what can be referred to as the Neo-Susurluk period. As Fikri Saglar rightly pointed out, the current situation makes the past seem merciful in comparison.

This can also be likened to a period of the decay of a body invaded by cancerous cells. Most alarming is that societal reflexes seem to have almost entirely vanished. There is no public outcry demanding the exposure and prevention of crimes today. A society that becomes accustomed to crime is a society in decay. In my opinion, this is the most severe and pressing issue in Turkey.

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