The Deep State

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The Susurluk scandal in Turkey

The Turkish word for "deep state" is derin devlet. Americans only recently became interested in the Deep State; Turks have a longer history of concern.

In 1996, Turkish police investigated a car crash. Inside the offending car, they found:

1. The deputy police chief of Istanbul
2. A notorious mafia leader with ties to the Grey Wolves militia group
3. A member of Parliament
4. A beauty queen
5. A fake passport linked to the man who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II
6. "Numerous" guns, including two submachine guns
7. Drugs
8. Several thousand US dollars

This was a remarkable set of people and things to find in the same car! I can’t quite follow all of the threads of what later became known as the Susurluk scandal, but they apparently involved drug smuggling, terrorism, human rights abuses, several assassinations, Iranian spies, a coup against the government of Azerbaijan, and "a number of Susurluk investigators [dying] in suspicious car accidents curiously similar to the Susurluk car crash itself".

Anyhow, this led to people thinking maybe something suspicious was going on in Turkey.