Senior Turkish military officers had made extensive plans to terrorize non-Muslims in Turkey. In the large Ergenekon scandal recently a well-planned terrorist operation was revealed. The operation which is called "Kafes Operasyonu Eylem Planı", in English meaning "the execution of the cage - operation" was to eliminate the remaining small group of Christians living in Turkey today.
The plan was revealed when police arrested Levent Bektas, a major in the Turkish army. The evidence seized reveals more than 27 officers and senior military officers involved in the conspiracy against Christians.
In order to identify key persons among the Christians and then kill them, this terrorist network has broken into a Greek Church congregation compound and stolen computers. The purpose of this was to access the congregation’s member lists.
"When our office was emptied of computers and files, church members were very concerned. Since the murder of the monk Santoro, the journalist Hrant Dink and the brutal murder of three publishing workers in Malatya, Christians are living in constant fear", said lawyer Kezban Hatemi, representing the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Constantinople (Istanbul).
On 28 November 2007, the Syriac Orthodox monk Daniel Savci in Turabdin was kidnapped in southeastern Turkey. The monk resides in the St. Gabriel monastery, which Turkish authorities are trying to confiscate. A few days later the monk was found beaten. Shortly after, the police arrested some village guards, a state-sanctioned militia subordinate to the Turkish army, for the kidnapping. Many people with insight into the situation interpret the kidnapping as a direct threat to the remaining Assyrians in Turabdin.
Christians were attacked across the country. To implement the strategic attacks, the country's Christian population was mapped out and 939 key persons from different parts of the country were identified as potential targets.
The fully detailed operation consists of four phases: preparation, spreading propaganda, shape opinion and execute.
The newspaper Taraf, which has been able to access the information, has published several articles about this. On its website www.taraf.com.tr it is described in detail how the plan to attack the Christians was to be implemented.
Below are some points that constitute the plan's main lines.
From the late 1980s to the 2000s, thousands of people have been killed, among them there were also many Christians. The perpetrators of the killings have never been found. But officially they have been systematically identified as an organization named "Hizbullah".
- Christians are mapped
- Famous and wealthy Christian businessmen kidnapped
- Systematic fires and looting of Christian businesses
- The Armenian newspaper AGOS be subjected to several explosions
- Murder patrols executing attacks against selected individuals
- Christian cemeteries subjected to explosions
- Churches and institutions belonging to Christians subjected to explosions
- Put the blame on imaginary militant organizations
A military arsenal provides the network with weapons. The police have, after following the tracks, at a house search in Poyrazköy outside Istanbul found a weapon cache to be used in the attacks. Among the weapons were several items, from C4 explosives to Uzi firearms and other sophisticated weapons.
According to the newspaper Taraf, major Eren Günay has been arrested for having provided the attackers with arms and ammunition. According to the newspaper there are indications that the plan is sanctioned by the highest Turkish military leadership.
For a long time, Christians’ houses, property and businesses in the Christian areas of the cities of Istanbul and Izmir have been labeled, in order to identify them. MP Sebah Tuncel notified the Turkish government with a written question last summer. The question addressed the Ministry of Interior and was about what the government intends to do against the labeling of Christian properties and about Christians being identified. Even today, the government has not replied to this question yet.
As long as the attacks were aimed at Christians and other minority groups, the Turkish government acted indifferently. Not until the ruling government party AKP themselves felt threatened they began to act. In recent years the relationship between the government and the military has been strained and on several occasions the military has made attempts to make a coup d'état, without succeeding fully.