WESTERN EUROPE SHOCKS SCANDAL 2/2
The issue of the Counter-Guerrilla, however, did not go away. On November 3,
1996 a speeding black Mercedes hit a tractor and crashed on a remote highway near the Turkish village of Susurluk, some 100 miles south of Istanbul.
A prominent member of the Turkish Counter-Guerrilla, a top police official and a member of parliament were killed in the crash. To many it was the physical proof of how closely the entire government was involved in the dirty war of the Counter-Guerrilla, and thousands protested against the 'Susurluk state' and demanded that the country be cleansed 'from the gangs'. In January 1998 Prime Minister Mesut Ylmaz had to inform millions of television viewers the results of a seven-month-long parliamentary investigation into the Susurluk scandal, it is the anatomy of a disgraceful mess', he began his statement and thereafter admitted that an 'execution squad was firmed within the state' while ' Al l parts of the state were aware of what was going on.'
Given the far-reaching revelations across
Western Europe, the Gladio scandal was also discussed by the parliament of the the European Union (EU) on November 22, 1990.
At the time the EU numbered 12 countries, all of whom were affected by the scandal.35 The 12 had g r e a t l y increased cooperation among each other and were about to establish the common European market without borders for persons, goods, services and capital, while security policy and defence matters in the new organisation still rested wi t h i n the sovereign control of each EU member state.
'Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, there is one fundamental moral and political necessity, in regard to the new
Europe that we are progressively building' Italian parliamentarian Falqui wisely opened the debate on that day. 'This Europe will have no future if it is not founded on truth, on the full transparency of its institutions in regard to the dark plots against democracy that have turned upside down the history, even in recent times, of many European states.'
Falqui insisted that 'There will be no future, ladies and gentlemen, if we do not remove the idea of having lived in a kind of double state - one open and democratic, the other clandestine and reactionary. That is why we want to know what and how many "Gladio" networks there have been in recent years in the Member States of the
French parliamentarian Dury shared these concerns and among the united European delegates declared: 'What worried us in this Gladio affair was that these networks were able to exist out of sight and beyond control of the democratic political authorities. That, I think, is the fundamental issue which remains.'
Dury concluded that the history of the Gladio armies had to be investigated: 'For our part, we believe that light has to be shed on this whole affair so that we can recognise all its implications and stop the problem lingering on or occurring with other organisations, or prevent other temptations from arising.'
Also the role of NATO, according to Dury, had to be investigated, although 'as for the responsibility of NATO and SHAPE, I don't think one should talk about a conspiracy',
Dury said, 'but I think we must keep up this spirit of inquiry and this concern for everything to be brought out into the open. We know very well that some people in Gladio also sit on NATO committees' and hence he concluded: 'I feel that it is part of our democratic duty to be able to shed proper light on all these kinds of problems.
'Mr. President, the Gladio system has operated for four decades under various names', Greek parliamentarian Ephremidis addressed the EU. 'It has operated clandestinely, and we are entitled to attribute to it all the destabilization, all the provocation and all the terrorism that have occurred in our countries over these four decades, and to say that, actively or passively, it must have had an involvement.' Ephremidis sharply criticised the entire stay-behind network: 'The fact that it was set up by the CIA and NATO which, while purporting to defend democracy were actually undermining it and using it for their own nefarious purposes.'
With an implicit reference to the involvement of the Greek Gladio in the 1967 coup
d'etat he criticised that 'the democracy we are supposed to have been enjoying has been, and still is, nothing but a front', and encouraged the EU parliament to investigate the matter further: 'The fine details must be uncovered, and we ourselves must establish a special sub committee of inquiry to hold hearings and to blow the whole thing wide open so that all the necessary steps can be taken to rid our countries of such clandestine organisations.'
French parliamentarian De Donnea shared a different perspective when he declared: 'Mr. President, it was perfectly legitimate at the end of the Second World War, for the majority of our states to set up services whose purpose was to prepare underground resistance networks that could be activated in the event of our countries being occupied by the forces of the Warsaw Pact.' Hence, the French parliamentarian highlighted, 'We must therefore pay tribute to all those who, while the cold war lasted, worked in these networks.' To De Donnea it was clear that the clandestine armies had to remain secret, 'For these networks to remain effective, it was obviously necessary for them to be kept secret', while at the same time he wanted to have clarity as to alleged links to terrorist activities:
'Having said that, if there are serious indications or suspicions to the effect that some or all of these networks have operated in an illegal or abnormal way in certain countries, it is in everyone's interest for matters to be brought into the open and for the guilty to be punished.
Dutch MP Vandemeulebroucke captured the feeling of many Europeans well when he summarised that 'This affair leaves a bad taste in the mouth, since it has been going on for as long as the European Community has been in existence, and we claim to be creating a new form of democracy.' Vandemeulebroucke stressed that it was above all the secrecy of the entire affair that greatly worried him as a parliamentarian, for 'the budgets for these secret organisations were also kept secret.
They were not discussed in any parliament, and we wish to express our concern at the fact that... it now emerges that there are centres for taking decisions and carrying them out which are not subject to any form of democratic control.'