Deep state in Turkey
The deep state (Turkish: derin devlet) refers to a group of influential anti-democratic coalitions within the Turkish political system, composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services (domestic and foreign), the Turkish military, security agencies, the judiciary, and mafia. The political agenda of the deep state involves an allegiance to nationalism, corporatism, and state interests. Violence and other means of pressure have historically been employed in a largely covert manner to manipulate political and economic elites and ensure specific interests are met within the seemingly democratic framework of the political landscape. Former president Süleyman Demirel says that the outlook and behavior of the (predominantly military) elites who constitute the deep state, and work to uphold national interests, are shaped by an entrenched belief, dating to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, that the country is always "on the brink".
The ideology of the deep state is anti-socialist, ultra-nationalist, anti-Islamist, secularist, anti-Kurdish, anti-democratic, and anti-liberal. As pointed out by former prime minister Bülent Ecevit, the diversity of opinion reflects the diversity of the various deep state coalitions, as the deep state is not so much an alliance, as several groups that work behind the scenes, each in pursuit of its own agenda. Another explanation contradicts the reduction of the deep state to an interest network and defines it as a type of domination based on the high level of autonomy enjoyed by the military that enables the security apparatus to disrupt formal democratic institutions (in the foreground) by employing a sui generis repertoire of informal institutions (in the background), i.e. putsch threat, autocratic cliques, mafia, organized crime and corruption. Rumours of the deep state have been widespread in Turkey since Ecevit's term as prime minister in the 1970s, after his revelation of the existence of a Turkish counterpart to Italy's Operation Gladio, the "Counter-Guerrilla". Many Turks, including elected politicians, have rejected assertions that the deep state doesn't exist.
Descriptions and countriesEdit
- "The expression `deep state` had originated in Turkey in the 1990s, where the military colluded with drug traffickers and hitmen to wage a dirty war against Kurdish insurgents" (Journalist Robert F. Worth);
- the term (derin devlet) "colloquially speaking" refers to "`criminal` or `rogue` element that have somehow muscled their way into power" (according to Ryan Gingeras);
- a "presumed clandestine network" of Turkish "military officers and their civilian allies" who, for decades, "suppressed and sometimes murdered dissidents, Communists, reporters, Islamists, Christian missionaries, and members of minority groups—anyone thought to pose a threat to the secular order" (Dexter Filkins);
- the "shady nexus" between the police and intelligence services, "certain politicians and organized crime," whose members believe they are authorized "to get up to all sorts of unavowable things" because they are "custodians of the higher interests of the nation," (Hugh Roberts).
- Middle East
- Robert Worth argues the term "deep state" is "just as apt" for networks in many other states in the region other than Turkey where governments have colluded with: smugglers and jihadis (Syria), jihadi veterans of the Soviet-Afghan War (Yemen), and other criminals working as irregular forces (Egypt, Algeria);
- the "hard core" of regimes in Syria, Egypt and Yemen (who resemble the Mamluks of Egypt and the Levant 1250–1517 in that they proclaim themselves servants of the putative rulers while actually ruling themselves) that staged successful counter-revolutions against the Arab Spring in those countries, (Jean-Pierre Filiu, From Deep State to Islamic State).
- used to refer to Egyptian military/security networks, particularly the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces after the 2011 Revolution. They are "non-democratic leaders within a country" whose power is "independent of any political changes that take place." They are "often hidden beneath layers of bureaucracy" and may not "in complete control at all times" but have "tangible control of key resources (whether human or financial)".
Charles Tilly wrote of an "interdependence between the historical processes of war-making and state-making and organized crime. ‘Banditry, piracy, gangland rivalry, policing and war-making all belong on the same continuum’"
Jean-Pierre Filiu (in From Deep State to Islamic State) notes a resemblance between the Mamluks of Egypt and the Levant (1250–1517), and the alleged security service "deep states" of today's the Middle East. In both cases, they proclaimed themselves servants of their state's putative rulers—the Caliph in the case of the Mamluks, and "the People" in the case of contemporary Algeria, Egypt, Syria, and Yemen—while actually ruling themselves.
Turkish secret societies date back to the Ottoman Empire. Sultan Selim III (reigned 1789–1807), for example, founded a secret committee, essentially a personal army to protect himself since he had been attacked following the wars against Russia and Austria of 1787 to 1792. Even his second-in-command, the Grand Vizier, remained unaware.:594
Conspiratorial coalitions became particularly active during the Committee of Union and Progress era (1889–1918), when they planned the deposition of the Sultan. One infamous hitman, Yakup Cemil, was employed by the state, and shot on Enver Pasha's command after he was no longer needed. The Special Organization was a secret organization that carried out the Armenian Genocide. According to Vicken Cheterian, today's deep state traces its roots to this era:
The clandestine state structures that were set up immediately before the First World War, namely the Special Organization (Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa)—the secret paramilitary organization within the state— was never dismantled. On the contrary, it was celebrated and continued to dominate over the state. This clandestine structure was the main instrument in implementing the Armenian Genocide and played a role in the various military coups and crimes against humanity under the republic. When the Kemalist movement came to power, the old CUP structures were not dismantled; Mustafa Kemal used the same network to lead his fight, reinventing the Special Organisation under new names, such as Karakol, which in 1927 became the Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MIT, or the Turkish intelligence services). There is an extra-legal structure within the state that has acted without legal checks and balances, from the Special Organization to the more recent ‘Deep State.’ The Susurluk scandal in 1996... brought to light the reality of the Deep State and its links with the death squads in Kurdistan, organized crime, and international heroin trafficking... What the [Ergenekon] trial once again revealed was the existence of a network within the state that behaved as the supreme power in the country, obeyed no laws, and used criminal methods to shape the political space...
Some[who?] say that these societies were instrumental in Turkification following the demise of the Ottoman Empire. The secret policy of Turkification was allegedly carried out by covert groups in order for its instigators not to be discovered.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938) availed himself of secret societies (the Sentinel Association, for example) that today would be considered special forces units to further the republican cause. Some hold that today's alleged deep state is a continuation of these societies.
After World War II, an organized and institutionalized form of the deep state was set up with American guidance to counter a possible Soviet invasion, under the Special Warfare Department (Turkish: Özel Harp Dairesi, or ÖHD). The ÖHD, termed the "Turkish Gladio" by some, was described by its former leader Kemal Yamak as a stay-behind resistance group.
Speaking to Derya Sazak of the daily Milliyet, former Republican People's Party representative Süleyman Genç said that the ÖHD exerted such influence that it hampered the Turkish Armed Forces, and identified the ÖHD as the core of the deep state. Genç pressed for a parliamentary inquiry on the phenomenon in 1978. Still, party chairman and prime minister Bulent Ecevit insisted he drop the matter, after talking to the ÖHD chief, Kemal Yamak, who said that the ÖHD would not interfere in civilian affairs and that politicians should not probe further. Genç's house in Karyağdı Street, Ankara was subsequently bombed on 5 January 1979.
Kendal Nezan of the Kurdish Institute of Paris said that Abdullah Çatlı, a Grey Wolves leader who was killed in the Susurluk car crash, "is reckoned to have been one of the main perpetrators of underground operations carried out by the Turkish branch of the Gladio organization and had played a key role in the bloody events of the period 1976–1980 which paved the way for the military coup d’état of September 1980. As the young head of the far-right Grey Wolves militia, he had been accused, among other things, of the murder of seven left-wing students." Çatlı was seen in the company of Avanguardia Nazionale founder Stefano Delle Chiaie, while touring Latin America and on a visit to Miami in September 1982.
Apart from Çatlı, ultra-nationalists used by the Turkish intelligence agencies included Mehmet Ali Ağca (who attempted to assassinate the Pope), Haluk Kırcı, İbrahim Çiftçi, Tugay Maraşlı, Yahya Efe, Oral Çelik, Mehmet Şener, Alaattin Çakıcı, Nurullah Tevfik Ağansoy, Ali Yasak, Abuzer Uğurlu, and Bekir Çelenk. In the 1990s, these people, who maintained contacts among security forces, were involved in various illegal activities (including gambling, drug trafficking, and money laundering) which were uncovered during the 1996 Susurluk scandal.
Formations such as the Doğu Çalışma Grubu (1993 alleged Turkish military coup), Batı Çalışma Grubu (1997 military memorandum) and TUSHAD are alleged by various sources to have continued clandestine work in the military and beyond. These groups have broadly aimed to defend Turkey against Islamism and separatism (particularly Kurdish separatism). Still, links with ultra-nationalist-linked mafia groups (Susurluk scandal) have also been seen, and links with Kurdish groups such as Kurdish Hizbollah. These various groups may have links with the Ergenekon organization pursuing a similar agenda in matters such as the 2003 "Sledgehammer" coup plan, but the details are unclear.
Acknowledgement of its existenceEdit
The first to publicly point at the existence of an influential, secret coalition, was Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, who in 1974 revealed the "Counter-Guerrilla". Until then, the United States had been funding the Special Warfare Department (Turkish: Özel Harp Dairesi, or ÖHD) under Joint United States Military Mission for Aid to Turkey (JUSMMAT) program; a Truman Doctrine-based initiative. When annual aid negotiations fell through, the commander of the ÖHD, General Kemal Yamak, asked General Semih Sancar, then the Chief of General Staff to ask Ecevit for a slush fund of 1 million dollars. It was at that point Ecevit learned of its existence, and demanded a briefing. His inquisitiveness and attempt to rein in the organization resulted in an assassination attempt at Izmir airport in 1977. In his memoirs, Yamak said that Ecevit's party itself contained ÖHD operatives, who were selected and educated at a young age by the chief of staff. When Ecevit obliquely asked Yamak about the extent of the party's infiltration Yamak told him not to worry, as the "boys were upright and specially educated...does that not make them better members of parliament? Besides, have any of them been implicated in a scandal?"
Former President and General Kenan Evren, who led the 1980 military coup related in his memoirs a meeting with the then-Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel on May 5, 1980, stating that Demirel asked him to use the staff of the ÖHD in the fight with the terrorists apparently hinting at the incident in Kizildere village on March 30, 1972. Kenan Evren refused, stating that he would not allow renewed rumours about counter-guerrillas. Kenan Evren made similar remarks in the daily Hürriyet of November 26, 1990. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller embraced both "those who died for the state, and those who killed for the state" as heroes.
Former President Süleyman Demirel described the deep state as synonymous with the military, and capable of subordinating the legitimate state in times of turbulence. Kenan Evren himself confirmed the suspicions, in an interview with journalist Yavuz Donat.
The newest allegation comes from then Prime Minister, and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In the television show İskele Sancak on Turkish TV channel Kanal 7 on 26 January 2007, he stated his belief in the existence of the deep state:
- I don't agree with those who say the deep state does not exist. It does exist. It has always has—and it did not start with the Republic; it dates back to Ottoman times. It's simply a tradition. It must be minimized, and if possible even annihilated.
The following clandestine organizations, some of which may be defunct, are sometimes associated with the deep state:
The Susurluk scandal developed after a car accident on 3 November 1996 near Susurluk in Balıkesir province. In this accident, former Deputy Chief of Istanbul Police Hüseyin Kocadağ, the leader of the Grey Wolves (Nationalist Action Party’s youth organization) Abdullah Çatlı, and a woman named Gonca Us died; DYP Şanlıurfa MP Sedat Bucak, who was also the leader of a large group of village guards in Siverek, was injured. Curiously, Çatlı was carrying a fake passport under the alias "Mehmet Özbay", the very same alias used by Mehmet Ali Ağca, the assassin who had shot Pope John Paul II. This coalition exposed the connections between the security forces, politicians and organized crime, and led to the resignation of interior minister Mehmet Ağar of the True Path Party.
A parliamentary investigation commission established after the accident published a 350-page report in April 1997. The commission's report maintained that the state organs used the Grey Wolves and that some state forces initiated the right-wing/left-wing armed conflicts in the 1970s in the Republic of Turkey.
Nurullah Tevfik Agansoy, who was the hitman of one of the ülkücü ("idealist") mafia leaders, Alaattin Cakici, had made statements claiming the involvement of Ozal family in the Civangate scandal which led to a war of words between himself and Cakici. The duel was concluded in September this year in Bebek, Istanbul with Agansoy's assassination but the hitman's death only to led more scandalous question marks. Two special protection officers of Deputy Prime Minister Ciller, who were with Agansoy during the incident were also killed in the shooting. Their presence has not been explained.
On 9 November 2005 a bookstore was bombed in Şemdinli district, Hakkâri Province killing one man and injuring others. The owner of the bookstore spent fifteen years in prison for providing logistical help to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). This was eighteenth bombing in the province since July. Local people caught the attackers who turned out to be two non-commissioned army officers and a former PKK militant on the payroll of the Turkish Gendarmerie. The PKK turncoat threw two hand grenades into the bookstore. The incident attracted huge media attention and created a public uproar. In response, the government promised that all individuals responsible for the attack would be identified and punished. The three suspects were later charged, tried and convicted at a civilian court. They each received around 40 years of prison sentences.
The stakes of the legal process suddenly increased when Prosecutor Ferhat Sarıkaya, who prepared the original indictment, alleged that there were connections between high-ranking military officers and suspects Gendarmerie Sergeants Ali Kaya, Özcan İldeniz and Veysel Ateş, the PKK turncoat; however his investigation was cut short. In reaction to this indictment, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors in the Ministry of Justice dismissed him from the profession. It disqualified him from working as a lawyer. In September 2007, the case was transferred to a military court and the three suspects were released and returned to their official positions. The legal process following the incident showed that lower courts can play a crucial role in holding security forces responsible for human rights violations and provide access to politically weak groups despite the high judiciary's resistance. Yet the government failed to fulfill its initial promises. It did not protect the lower courts that remained under immense pressure from the high judiciary and military command.
Assaults on Cumhuriyet and the Council of StateEdit
In 2006, a secularist judge in the Turkish Council of State was shot dead, and the Istanbul office of the Cumhuriyet newspaper was attacked by grenade. Appearing before court, a president of a chapter of the nationalist Ülkü Ocakları named Alparslan Arslan said he had committed both crimes. Arslan added that the next targets were well-known journalist Mehmet Ali Birand and popular game show host Mehmet Ali Erbil.
Arslan claimed to have planned the assaults himself, however this was cast into doubt in 2007, when a gang allegedly conspiring to overthrow the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party was uncovered. A year later, prosecutors indicted 86 high-ranking suspects—and Alparslan Arslan, who was said to be working for the gang. The charges range from firearms possession to running an armed terrorist organization, including both of Arslan's attacks. The bombing of the newspaper was previously thought to be the work of Islamic fundamentalists, but is now described as part of the first stage of Ergenekon's campaign to stoke division and unrest. The group's motives are currently unclear, but it has been said that they sought to sever Turkey's ties with the West; Russian ideologue Aleksandr Dugin described them as "pro-Russian".
Hrant Dink assassinationEdit
Hrant Dink, an ethnic Armenian journalist was killed on 19 January 2007 outside the office of his newspaper Agos. The juvenile killer Ogün Samast was later arrested with the weapon in Samsun. After his arrest, a video clip was released showing him posing with two police officers in front of and holding the Turkish flag. Among the suspects believed to have assisted Ogün Samast was Erhan Tuncel. On 7 February 2007 the Anka news agency reported on the ties of Tuncel to nationalist circles and the fact that he had been working as a police informer and staff member of the Gendarmerie's intelligence service, FETÖ.
- Freely, Maureen (May 2007). "Why they killed Hrant Dink". Index on Censorship. 36 (2): 15–29. doi:10.1080/03064220701334477. S2CID 145049618. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
The deep state is Turkish shorthand for a faceless clique inside the Turkish state that has, some claim, held the reins of real power throughout the republic's 84-year history. There are some who see it on a continuum with the shady networks that 'took care of business' (including, some believe, the Armenian business) in the last years of the Ottoman Empire. The deep state is held to be based in the army, but closely linked with the National Intelligence Service (MIT), the judiciary, and (since the 1960s) the mafia.
- Jones, Gareth (2005-11-20). "Bombing throws spotlight on Turkey". Turkish Daily News. Archived from the original on 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
The 'deep state' consists of elements from the military, security and judicial establishments who, if need be, are ready to block or even oust a government that does not share their vision.
- Gorvett, Jon (November 2006). "Bombing Campaign a Response to Ankara's Kurdish Policies, or 'Deep State' Plot?". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. American Educational Trust: 44–45. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
Yet speculation is rife as to who might really be behind the group.
- Yavuz, Ercan (2008-01-11). "'Deep state' suspects' release arouses deep suspicions". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
The police found that Selvi's gang exacted protection money...
- Türköne, Mümtaz'er (2005-04-29). "Derin devlet ve Kuvva-yı Milliye". Zaman (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
Bu korkunun arkasında ise Osmanlı Devleti'nin dağılması var. Cumhuriyeti kuranlar ordu mensupları ve Demirel onlarda bu korkunun hakim olduğunu söylüyor. Bu korkuya "hufre-i inkıraz" (uçurumun kenarına gelme korkusu) veya "pençe-i izmihlal" (çöküşün pençesinde olma) deniyormuş. Osmanlı Devleti'nin çöküş hikayesinden hafızalara kazınan bu korku devletteki işlerin önemli faktörlerinden biri. Demirel, adeta bir paranoya halini anlatıyor.
- Dogan, Yonca Poyraz (2008-03-10). "PKK won't die off as long as deep state is alive". Monday Talk. Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- Pamir, Balcicek (2005-04-11). "Durup dururken 'derin devlet'". Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
Derin devlet konuşuluyor bugünlerde. Derin devlet yeryüzünde yüzü resmen belli olmayan devlettir. Sayın Demirel, sıkıntı yaşadığı dönemleri sadece derin devlet olarak anlatıyor. Diyor ki 'Derin devlet, devlette zaaf olursa ortaya çıkar.' Buna katılıyorum. Ama bugün öylesine bir zaaf yoktur. Tabii ki sıkıntıları var günümüzdeki hükümetin ama ne iç ne de dış sıkıntılar derin devlet gerektirecek sıkıntılar değildir. Yine de durup dururken derin devleti konuşuyoruz. Herkesin kendisine göre bir derin devlet tanımlaması vardır. Ben derin devlet olayını o olay açıktan devam ederken yaşadım. Derin devlet kontrgerilladır. Ben o zaman da uyarılarda bulundum, cumhurbaşkanı'na kadar durumu ilettim.
- Beki, Mehmet Akif (1997-01-17). "Whose gang is this?". Turkish Daily News. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Jenkins, Gareth (2008-10-03). "The Impact of the Ergenekon Investigation on Turkish Counterterrorism Operations". Terrorism Monitor. Jamestown Foundation. 6 (19). Retrieved 2008-11-14.
Although some elements were in contact with each other, the deep state was always more of an umbrella of judicial immunity for disparate - and often virtually autonomous - groups and individuals pursuing a common goal rather than a single tightly structured and centrally controlled organization.
- Söylemez, Haşim (2008-12-03). "Ergenekon dünkü çocuk, Öcalan derin devletin adamıdır". Aksiyon (in Turkish). 726. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
Derin devletin kendi içinde de çelişkileri vardır. Ergenekon derin devletin bir parçası ama bugün yargılanıyor. Çünkü derin devlet kendisinden olan bir kesimi dışlamak, atmak istiyor. Bunun için deşifre ediyor.
- Söyler, Mehtap, "Informal institutions, forms of state and democracy: the Turkish deep state", Democratization, Volume 20, Issue 2, 2013, 310–334.
- "Turkey determined to purge its Gladio". Today's Zaman. 2008-01-24. Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- Sazak, Derya (2006-01-09). "'Özel Harp', TSK'nın otoritesini de sarstı". Siyaset. Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- Turgut, Pelin (2008-01-28). "Turkey Busts Alleged Murder Network". TIME. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
Most Turks have long suspected the existence of a covert web of elements within the security forces and bureaucracy who act outside the law to uphold their own political ends. There is even a household name for it: the 'deep state,' referring to a state within the state.
- Finkel, Andrew (2007-02-22). "Think tank declares war on 'deep state'". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
...the 1996 Susurluk affair. This incident led many ordinary Turks to suspect there was a deep state that operated according to its own set of interests and which was impervious to governmental control.[dead link]
- Worth, A Rage for Order, 2016: p.139
- Gingeras, Ryan (Summer 2011). "In the Hunt for the Sultans of Smack:' Dope, Gangsters and the Construction of the Turkish Deep State". Middle East Journal. 65 (3): 427. doi:10.3751/65.3.14. JSTOR 23012173. PMID 22081838. S2CID 36893626.
- Filkins, Dexter (12 March 2012). "Letter from Turkey. The Deep State". New Yorker. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- Roberts, Hugh (16 July 2015). "The Hijackers [book review]". London Review of Books. 37 (14). Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- "What is the Deep State? | On Religion – The UK's first magazine about faith, religion and society". onreligion.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2014-09-14.
- Green; Penny; Ward Tony. "Organised Crime and the ‘Deep State.’" (2004). "6. Organized Crime and the 'Deep State'". State Crime: Governments, Violence, and Corruption. Pluto. pp. 86–104. JSTOR j.ctt18fs3bm.
- Özbek, Öner (2008-10-13). "Tarihimizden bir derin çete tetikçisi: Kabakçı Mustafa". Taraf (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
- Tayyar, Şamil (2008-11-06). "'1' numara kim?". Star Gazete (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-11-06.
Devlet içindeki yasa dışı oluşumlar, cumhuriyet tarihinden bile eskidir. Osmanlı’dan devraldığımız bu virüs, cumhuriyeti de kemirmektedir.
- Bovenkerk, Frank; Yeşilgöz, Yücel (2004). "The Turkish Mafia and the State" (PDF). In Cyrille Fijnaut, Letizia Paoli (ed.). Organized Crime in Europe: Concepts, Patterns and Control Policies in the European Union and Beyond. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-2765-9. ISBN 978-1-4020-2615-7.
- Kilic, Ali Aslan (2008-07-30). "Ergenekon-type organizations benefited from the atmosphere of clashes". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on August 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
Birdal, who notes that Ergenekon has appeared under various names throughout recent Turkish history, asserts that movements that have opposed the general will of the people of Turkey stretch all the way back to the Committee of Union and Progress (İttihat ve Terakki) period before the founding of the republic.
- Özbek, Öner (2008-09-11). "Yakup Cemil: Devlet içinde devlet olan adam". Taraf (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
- Cheterian, Vicken (2015). Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks and a Century of Genocide. Hurst. pp. 305–306. ISBN 978-1-84904-458-5.
- Skinner, Anthony (2008-05-01). "Turkey's darkest shadow". The Middle East. Retrieved 2009-01-01. (original)
- Uğur, Fatih (2008-07-21). "Ulusalcılık ve Ergenekon, İttihatçılıktır". Aksiyon (in Turkish). Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş. 711. Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Uğur, Fatih (2008-07-21). "Ay ışığında İttihat gölgesi". Aksiyon (in Turkish). Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş. 711. Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Mercan, Faruk (2006-01-09). "İlk Özel Harpçi Orgeneral". Aksiyon (in Turkish). 579. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
Ecevit'in sözünü ettiği suikast girişimi 1977 seçimleri öncesinde İzmir'de havaalanında meydana geldi. Ecevit, Çiğli Havaalanı'nda uçaktan inince, İzmir Emniyeti'nde görevli bir polis memurunun silahından çıkan kurşun yanındaki Ahmet İsvan'ın dizine isabet etti. Polis memuru kaza sonucunda yaralamaya sebebiyet suçundan üç ay hapis yattıktan sonra görevine iade edildi, ama iddialara göre mermi bir suikast mermisiydi ve silah Özel Harp Dairesi'ne kayıtlıydı.
- Duzel, Nese (2008-01-28). "2009'da kıyamet gibi kan akacaktı". Taraf (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
Derin devlet faaliyetleri yani resmî devlete hâkim olma ihtiyacı, 1950’lerde Türkiye tekillikten çoğulluğa geçtiği zaman başladı.
- Nezan, Kendal (1998-07-05). "Turkey's pivotal role in the international drug trade". Le Monde Diplomatique.
- İnsel, Ahmet. "Rutininde İç Düşman Olan Devlet," Birikim, March 2000, Vol. 131, quoted pp.56-58 of the 1998 Report Archived October 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine from the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
- Lucy Komisar, Turkey's terrorists: a CIA legacy lives on, The Progressive, April 1997
- Basbaglar katliami, Bilan kazasi olayi, Jave köyleri...Ayni ekip yapti bunlari. Basbaglar katliami kesinlikle Ergenekon zihniyeti ürünüdür, 
- Dündar, Can (2006-01-05). "Kontrgerilla kontratakta..." Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- Dündar, Can (2006-01-08). "'Özel Harp'çinin tırmanış öyküsü". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-09-21.
Özel harpçi olarak eğitilenler daha genç yaşlarda bölgesinde güvenilir, saygın, sözü geçen, (...) önder niteliklere sahip oldukları için seçilmişlerdi. Milletvekili oluşları da bu seçimin doğruluğunu göstermiyor mu?... Birçok olay olmuş, bu teşkilatın tek bir üyesi bu olaylara karışmış mı?
- "111. Birleşim". Tutanak (in Turkish). Grand National Assembly of Turkey. 20 (56). 1998-06-29. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
Ben, böyle bir örgütün varlığını ilk açıklamış bir politikacıyım ve bunun bedeli olarak da, ben ve eşim birkaç suikast girişimiyle karşılaşmıştık; ama, onları göze aldık, almak gerekiyordu. Bugün, bu soruna daha rahatlıkla çözüm getirilebilir; yeter ki, siyasî iradeyi elimizde bulunduralım ve o iradeyi gösterelim.
- Kenan Evren'in Anıları. Istanbul 1990, p. 431: "Başbakan Süleyman Demirel, Özel Harp Dairesi'ndeki personeli teröristlerle mücadelede kullanmamızı ve onlarla çete savaşı yaparak öldürmemizi, vaktiyle de bu teşkilatın böyle kullanılmış olduğunu söyledi. 1971 sıkıyönetim dönemindeki Kızıldere olayında kullanılan personeli kastediyordu. Bu hal tarzına şiddetle karşı çıktım. Genelkurmay Başkanı olduktan sonra bu daireyi esas görevine yönelttiğimi tekrar kontrgerilla söylentileri istemediğimi söyledim."[verification needed]
- Polat, Fatih (2006-01-18). "Özel Harp ve karanlık olaylar". Evrensel (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2006-03-05. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
Evren, 'Ben izin vermedim ama haberim olmadan belki bazı olaylarda kullanılmıştır' dedi. Bu başlık, Türkiye'nin en çok tirajlı gazetesi Hürriyet'in 26 Kasım 1990 tarihli sayısının manşeti.
- Yusuf Kanlı (2007-01-29). "The Turkish deep state". Turkish Daily News. Archived from the original on 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
The deep state is the state itself. It is the military.
- Nur Batur; Murat Yetkin; Fikret Bila (2005-04-18). "Demirel: Derin devlet askerdir". Türkiye. Radikal (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
Derin devlet, devletin kendisidir. Askerdir, derin devlet. Cumhuriyet'i kuran askerler, devletin yıkılmasından daima korku duyar. Halk bazen sağlanan hakları suiistimal eder, yürüyüş hakkı verildiğinde gidip cam çerçeveyi indirerek, polisle çatışır. Derin devlete ülkenin muhtaç olması, ülkenin yönetilememesinden kaynaklanır.
Derin devlet şu anda devrede değil. Derin devlet, kanaatlerine göre, devleti yıkılma sınırına getirmediğiniz sürece hareket halinde değildir. Onlar ayrı bir devlet değil, ama devlete el koydukları zaman derin devlet olurlar.
- "Süleyman Demirel: İki devlet var". NTV-MSNBC (in Turkish). 2005-11-16. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
Ufak bir zorlukla karşılaşınca sivil devlet devreden çıkıyor, derin devlet devreye giriyor...Devletin tekliği esastır, iki devlet olmaz. Bizim ülkemizde iki devlet var. Bir derin devlet var, bir devlet var. Asıl olması gereken devlet yedek, yedek olması gereken devlet asıldır.
- Donat, Yavuz (2005-04-04). "Kenan Evren: Derin devlet... Evet... Var... Bir realite..." Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
Sayın Demirel çok doğru söylüyor... Derin devlet bir realite... Devletin, devlet hakimiyetini kuramadığını gördü... Yönetimin zaaf sergilediği yerde derin devletin kendiliğinden devreye girmiş olduğunu anladı.
- Barlas, Mehmet (2007-01-29). "Osmanlı'da oyun bitmez – Derin Devlet". Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
Derin devletin varlığına katılmıyorum diye bir şey yok, katılmıyorum olur mu, neden olmasın. O her zaman olmuş. Türkiye Cumhuriyeti döneminde başlamış bir şey de değil. Ta Osmanlı'dan. Bu gelenekten gelen bir şey zaten. Ama bunu minimize etmek, mümkünse yok etmek, bunu başarmak gerek.
- How deep is the deep state? Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, soL.
- Altintas, E Baris (2008-08-20). "Intellectuals call for deepening of Ergenekon investigation". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 2008-08-16. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- Acan, Necdet (2006-01-02). "CHP'li Özel Harpçiler". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT): Annual Report 1997, ISBN 975-7217-22-0, in the Turkish version the quote is on p. 7
- Hakan Aslaneli; Zafer F. Yoruk (1996-11-06). "'Traffic Monster' reveals state-mafia relations". Turkish Daily News. Hürriyet. Archived from the original on 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
- Murat Tezcür, Güneş (2009). "Judicial Activism in Perilous Times: The Turkish Case". Law & Society Review. 43 (2): 305–336. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5893.2009.00374.x.
- Şemdinli indictment: PDF, DOC (in Turkish)
- Tezcur, "Judicial Activism in Perilous Times," Law & Society Review, p. 329.
- "Arslan: Hedefte Birand ve Erbil de vardı". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Anadolu Agency. 2006-08-11. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- Турция вскрыла пророссийское подполье. Kommersant (in Russian). 191: 9. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2008-11-07. (Turkey uncovers a pro-Russian underground[permanent dead link]. English translation courtesy Emil Lazarian)
- Junta’s Cage Operation Action Plan against non-Muslims uncovered Archived April 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- AO/EU (2007-02-12). "Suspicious Robbery at ANKA News Agency Bureau". bianet. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
- Worth, Robert F. (2016). A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS. Pan Macmillan. p. 82. ISBN 9780374710712. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- The Rise and Decline of the Turkish “Deep State”: The Ergenekon Case. An academic article by Serdar Kaya published at the journal Insight Turkey
- Derin Devlet Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine. A series of articles in the daily Sabah featuring interviews with Süleyman Demirel and Kenan Evren.
- The documentary that revealed Ergenekon[dead link] at Google Videos, presented by Can Dündar. 40 Dakika, Show TV. 7 January 1997. (in Turkish)
- U.S. Embassy Ankara, https://web.archive.org/web/20121011031539/http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2002/11/02ANKARA8252.html, 2002 cable on Deep state