Controversial EMASYA behind deadly Operation Back to Life

YAKUP ÇET?N
?STANBUL

The investigation into Operation Back to Life was completed in May of last year with the Bak?rköy 12th High Criminal Court accepting the indictment into incidents that left 12 inmates dead and 29 others seriously injured at ?stanbul’s Bayrampa?a Prison. The total number of inmates killed was 30 during simultaneous operations in other prisons at the time.
The Protocol on Cooperation for Security and Public Order (EMASYA), which gave the military the authority to gather intelligence against internal threats and to conduct operations in cities without the approval of the civilian administration, was behind deadly suppressions of prison riots in 2000.
Hayata Dönü? Operasyonu (Operation Back to Life) was the general name used to describe these operations. After the Gendarmerie General Command found a plan implemented during the suppression of a riot at ?stanbul’s Bayrampa?a Prison in its archives and sent it to the court hearing the case concerning the operation, new details emerged regarding how the plans were put into practice and what happened afterwards.

According to the newly discovered plans, Operation Back to Life was based on EMASYA, which was signed by the General Staff and the Interior Ministry in 1997 and abolished on Feb. 4 of last year.

The investigation into Operation Back to Life was completed in May of last year with the Bak?rköy 12th High Criminal Court accepting the indictment into incidents that left 12 inmates dead and 29 others seriously injured at ?stanbul’s Bayrampa?a Prison. The total number of inmates killed was 30 during simultaneous operations in other prisons at the time. The riots were caused by protesting inmates against a new type of prison dubbed the F-type prison.

In operations in ?stanbul’s Ümraniye Prison eight inmates and a soldier died and several others were injured. Prosecutors say the 39 gendarmes sent to subdue the riot were responsible for the deaths, but they did not bring charges against the politicians who authorized the operation or the military officers who gave the orders. Under Article 9, the army is entitled to interfere in cases of internal security affairs without consulting civilian authorities, i.e., governors.

A plan codenamed “Bora” gave the Elaz?? Gendarmerie Command the right to interfere in internal security affairs that were expected to erupt in ?stanbul if ?stanbul’s gendarme forces failed to quell an expected riot at Ümraniye Prison.

Article 10 of EMASYA states that shifting troops from one province to another is to take place upon orders from EMASYA regional commands and not from governors. Articles 14 and 16 of EMASYA also state that regardless of whether they were commissioned by governors, all security forces coming to aid a province should serve under the commanders of military troops. The plot states that the number of state-sponsored village guards in the country’s Southeast should be increased in order to boost the military’s authority in the region, which would cause an increase in the influence of EMASYA.

Prosecutors say the Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan, an alleged military coup plan prepared in 2003 during a military gathering in ?stanbul, was also based on EMASYA. A section of the plan, titled “Fight against terrorism and domestic security,” states that an institution will be established to coordinate security forces from the same center in order to more effectively fight against terrorism. There are references to Articles 10, 14 and 16 of EMASYA in this section. A total of 195 active and retried military personnel are currently on trial in the case against the coup plot.


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