Yeraltý Notlarý, 5 Nisan 2004

Sevgül Uludað

 

The imported “Gray Wolves” of the north...(*)

Sevgul Uludag (*)

Last weekend the Nicosia Turkish Municipality Theatre, together with Satirigon Theatre had a peace march in divided Nicosia. The “Gray Wolves”, imported from Turkey, cut off the road and tried to block the peace march...

The “Gray Wolves” of Turkey, based in the northern part of Cyprus who are under the protection of the regime, continue to be a threat to peace on this island and you can see them not only in the street, blocking a peace carnival but also writing articles threatening to use violence against those who are working for peace, issuing “last warnings” and saying “one night we might come to you”...

The ugly scene of the fascist group “Gray Wolves” blocking the peace march last weekend, brought back memories of 1996...

1996 was a `black year` for Cyprus...

Cyprus lost three of her children in three violent murders: two on the `border` and one in the northern part of our island...

I remember the tension building up, the “Gray Wolves” brought to the island from Ankara with a “campaign” to allegedly “protect the “border”, Tansu Ciller, the then prime minister of Turkey using covert funds to “sponsor” this “mission”, the murder of Tasos Isaac and Solomos Solomou, the blood spilt and the live TV coverage during the whole thing...Their photographs are still at the Ledra Palace checkpoint but nothing is heard about `justice` anymore... Nothing is heard about the Cyprus government’s application to the Interpol for the murderers to be caught... The photos of Isaac and Solomou at the checkpoint is like a “slogan” without content...

In July the same year Kutlu Adali, a Turkish Cypriot journalist was murdered in front of his house... The imported “Gray Wolves” were threatening him... Later in the year, during the “Scandal of Susurluk” in Turkey, it became more clear that one of the leaders of the “Gray Wolves” were in the set-up of the “Deep State” – made up of part of the military, part of the civil beaurocracy and the fascists. His name was Abdullah Catli and he had visited the northern part of Cyprus quite often... His name came up during the murder case of Kutlu Adali quite often which is in the European Human Rights Court now... Catli came to the island using different passports, given to him by the state in Turkey. He was on the island on the night Adali was murdered... Catli died in a car accident at the village Susurluk, Turkey in November 1996 – he was travelling in the same car together with the chief of police and an MP... The police were allegedly looking for Catli for the murder of progressive students, while Catli was together with the chief of police! The “Susurluk Scandal” showed the tip of the iceberg in Turkey: the Deep State within the state working and extending its arms all the way to Cyprus... But none of those involved in murders could be brought to justice... They were the “untouchables”...

Kutlu Adali who was killed with an UZÝ in front of his house, was married to my sister Ilkay... They had met when I was about 2 or 3 years old. I remember him walking into our garden and taking my photographs, bringing me books about `The Little Donkey`, trying to become friends with me. I was a bit upset as a small kid: perhaps he was going to take my big sister away from me?... My sister was 14 years older than me so she was like my `mother` back then... So Adali made an effort at winning my heart as a kid... I remember my sister wearing a beautiful coat in purple, her hair long and shiny and laughing with Adali in our garden... Adali was a young man then who wrote poetry like my sister and that was what brought them together... He wrote beautiful poems for her and published her poetry in his cultural magazines.

He was born in Nicosia in a butcher family... They had emigrated to Antalya in Turkey when he was a small kid. He went to school there and was a classmate of Deniz Baykal, leader of opposition in Turkey now. He communicated with him for years, after his return to Cyprus.

He had started as a close aid of Denktash when he returned to the island... During the `Emergency Years` of the 1960s for Turkish Cypriots, Adali was a `courier` between the Denktash government and the Turkish military chiefs.

He wrote and published a lot of articles, newspapers, cultural magazines, some of them propaganda and some of them work of an intellectual. He went on to publish his books. One of the very first books on the folkloric and cultural traditions of the Turkish Cypriots was his: It was called `Dagarcik` (A bag used by shepherds) and consisted of visits to villages and the daily lives of Turkish Cypriots at that time... This was 1950s and 1960s...

He continued to write and soon started getting into trouble: He had books like `Sancili Toplum` (Community in Pain) where he started questioning the way things were run within the Turkish Cypriot community. `Emergency Years` meant that Turkish Cypriots were being ruled by military forces. The conflict that blew up in 1963 between the two communities took away the `normality` of life away from Turkish Cypriots: they could not organize, they could not go on strike, young boys couldn’t go to university because there was no `permission` for them to get out of the military units they were serving at... Many struggles had to be waged for the most basic democratic rights... KTOS (Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union) was one of the leading forces in this struggle, among others...

Due to his criticism of how things were run, Adali soon came into conflict with Denktash. He had been very close with Denktash but now he started writing against him... I remember Adali being put in `military lock-up` for days – he went on hunger strike – my sister was crying and trying to take care of their 3 small kids...

In 1974 when Deniz Baykal, his classmate, came to Cyprus, he found Adali and decided to put him in charge of the Identity Cards Department. Baykal was a minister in Ecevit government and the appointment went through. But Adali would continue to write, under a pseudonym... His house was raided couple of times to find the `original articles` to prove that even though he was a civil servant, chief of ID Department, he was writing political articles under a pseudonym in an opposition newspaper critical of the regime. I remember laughing with Il, their eldest daughter now living in Istanbul, when she told us that she had hidden the articles in the garden, where the dog slept and the police could not manage to find them!

Later, the regime started taking things more seriously, as is their characteristic on this part of the island: they shot at his house and bullets went to the bedroom. Quite by chance, my sister had changed the place of the bed that day...Otherwise, perhaps he would have been shot... Harrassment continued and Adali was sacked from his post as chief of ID Department, 5 years before he was due to retire... He took them to court and won but such things don’t matter in the northern part since the regime has expertise in making your life more and more miserable... They use the infrastrucutre, the secret police, the intelligence services against a `citizen` whom they consider `dangerous` and as we see in the case of Kutlu Adali, can even go so far to murder in order to silence a citizen...

Adali continued his fight more intensively after he retired: he wrote openly columns where he questioned the threats, bombings, murders of the past: he was an `insider` in the past, having worked with the highest officials of the regime so he knew what he was talking about. He joined the Cyprus Turkish Peace Committee we had formed. He was also part of the `Contact Group`... These two groups tried to have peace activities with Greek Cypriots. We had formed the Peace Committee back in 1982 and the regime had refused the registration of this NGO: the registrar of the NGOs told us that `We were a divisive organization, we were dividing the society into those who want peace and those who do not want peace!` Adali came later and was in the executive committee for some time... With the `Contact Group` there were many activities, one of them being, bringing the famous Turkish writer Aziz Nesin to meet Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots... He was happy then since he had read all the books of Aziz Nesin, who is a very popular humor writer...

His children named Kut, Il and Er, started paying the price for his articles and activities: as is the case in the north, they were blacklisted and were not given jobs. Two of his kids had to make the hard decision to emigrate to Istanbul to find jobs there, which broke my sister’s heart... She also had to pay the price of being Adali’s wife: she had her share of harrassment by the regime.

Adali was a columnist in YENIDUZEN and when he started a series of articles there about the past murders, about shady events at the St. Barnabas Monastery and the involvement of the `Civil Defense Forces` in the St. Barnabas events (this was about the night the grave of St. Barnabas was opened), he got the regime angrier and angrier. Prior to his murder some leaders of the fascist group `Gray Wolves` like Erhan Arikli wrote threatening articles...

Arikli came from Turkey like the other members of the `Gray Wolves` and continues his articles threatening us openly... In KIBRISLI newspaper in November 2001, he wrote:

`100 of you will not see the day the peace agreement is signed on the island… We will make you eat each and every article you’ve written… We will torture you, estinguish our cigarettes on you, take out your nails, hit you and then give you to the Turkish soldiers to do what they like with you…`

This was the man whose name was given to the INTERPOL by the Cyprus government about those responsible for the Tassos Isaac murder on the `border` in 1996... He was the leader of `MAP`, a fascist political party, supporting Denktash... He also has had a lot of connection with Azerbaijan since he graduated from the university there.

It wasn’t only people like Arikli who wrote threatening articles, some `NGOs` made up of `ex-fighters` in the service of the regime also issued `last warnings` against Adali... And he got threatening phone calls: `We will break your arms` they were saying, `we will break your legs... We will kill you like a dog in the street...`

Adali wrote about these threats in his column... As is the case in the north, nothing happened: Even when Arikli and others are writing threatening articles against us, the `state attorney` does not start any sort of investigation. But when the `Gray Wolves` beat up Murat Kanatli, the editor of Yenicag newspaper last year in October, instead of catching and punishing these thugs, the police sued Kanatli, for allegedly `entering into the offices of the Gray Wolves` and `taking two magazines from there`... As a journalist, Kanatli was following an activity of the `Gray Wolves` and a press conference given by them... The forces of the regime also did not do anything against the `Gray Wolves` when they made a demonstration in front of the newspaper AFRIKA, threatening the journalists there last year... These were the same people who cut the roads and shouted ugly slogans and threats to stop the Peace Carnival March last week... The Nicosia Turkish Municipality Theatre, together with Satirigon had a peace march together... The police just stood between the fascist groups and the peace groups and did not attempt to open the way to the peace march... The Carnival had to change its route in order to continue... Of course, when you are in opposition to the regime in the north, you know that you shouldn’t expect the forces of the regime like the police or the attorney general to be on your side!

After all the threats in the newspapers by the same fascist groups and threatening phone calls, Kutlu Adali was murdered on the night of 6th July 1996 in the street in front of his house. Adali was alone in the house since my sister was in Istanbul for the birthday of their daughter... Il’s birthday was on the 9th of July... Her father was murdered on the 6th and buried on the 9th of July... She has not been able to celebrate her birthday since the murder of her father...

My sister Ilkay, sued Turkey for this murder and the case is at the European Human Rights Court. The harrassment of the regime continues... Sometimes her electricity, water or telephone is cut, even if she does not have any debts. Her phones are tapped... When she’s abroad, she’s sometimes followed and photographed. All of these are your `daily share` if you are opposing the regime in the north... But determined to bring `justice`, Ilkay Adali continues her struggle...

And the imported “Gray Wolves” under the protection of the regime in the northern part of our island, continue to openly threaten those who are working for peace...

(*) Article published at ALITHIA newspaper on the 4th of April, 2004

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