Since 33 members of Turkish ‘Deep State’ (Contra-Guerrilla), also known as Ergenekon, were seized in a police raid in late January 2008, the story of a Turkish contra-guerrilla organization has set Turkey abuzz with rumour and speculation. What is organization, deep state, and how did it start in Turkey, and why? (1)
During the 1950s, US concerns were that the Soviet Union, through the activities of the local communist parties, would conquer the world. The CIA and the Pentagon came up with a plan to establish secret resistance groups within various countries that would fight back against the predicted communist take-over. These groups were called ‘stay-behind’ organizations, little cells of paramilitary units that would take on the communists behind enemy lines. To coordinate all these clandestine groups, a Super-NATO’ organization was set up under the control of the CIA in all the NATO countries. The headquarters of this organization was in Brussels and was named as the Allied Coordination Committee (ACC). Secret meetings were held annually in which delegates from all the member countries took part. The official purpose of the organization was ‘to organize resistance using irregular warfare methods in case of a communist occupation’. The organization had at its disposal special funds and weapons depots, and was not answerable for its activities under the laws of the individual member states. The organization’s branch in Italy was called ‘Gladio’, in Germany ‘Anti-Communist Assault Unit’, in Greece ‘Hide of the Red Buck’, and in Belgium ‘Glavia’. This ‘Super-NATO also set up branch organisations in non-NATO countries, such as Austria and Switzerland. The United States funded these stay-behind groups for decades, even though there was no communist take-over in any of these countries. However, some of these groups eventually did take up arms against left-wing dissidents and members of the local communist and socialist parties in their own countries. Probably one of the most powerful and deep-rooted of these covert action groups was set up in Turkey, immediately after Turkey’s membership of NATO.