- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
The visit to detained generals signal a change in Turkish armyâ€™s stance
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1749 days ago | Thursday, 4th September , 2008 , 10:40 [am] | Azerbaijan
|.||The garrison commander of Turkey’s Kocaeli province paid a visit to two retired generals arrested during the controversial “Ergenekon operation”, the army said in a statement on Wednesday. Observers say the visit is a signal of a change in the army’s stance on the controversial issue.|
The garrison commander of Turkey’s Kocaeli province paid a visit to two retired generals arrested during the controversial “Ergenekon operation”, the army said in a statement on Wednesday. Observers say the visit is a signal of a change in the army’s stance on the controversial issue.
The visit of Lieutenant General Galip Mendi came a day after Air Forces Commander Gen. Aydogan Babaoglu said the essence of Ergenekon is unknown.
“This visit to the two retired commanders, who served in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) for a long time, was paid on behalf of the Turkish Armed Forces,” the statement posted on the army’s Website added.
It also said the army has full respect and belief in the Turkish judicial system.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said it would wrong to try to create other meanings from this visit.
Observers say these signal a change in the army’s stance against the Islamist-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who survived a closure case in July, as General Ilker Basbug took over the Turkish army’s top post from General Yasar Buyukanit last week.
Former army chief Buyukanit showed a more hands-off attitude toward the Ergenekon operation and refrained from making clear statements regarding the issue during his term.
In the controversial Ergenekon case, the two retired generals were arrested in June. The Ergenekon operation allegedly started to crackdown on an illegal organization accused of plotting a series of events that would pave the way for a military coup.
However the detainment of anti-government names in the operation created question marks about whether this operation was being used as a cover to suppress opponents of the ruling AKP.
The indictment on the case, however, failed to shed light on the merits of this controversial and complex case.
Hurriyet columnist Cuneyt Ulsever said he is surprised by this visit, adding the new army chief is sending a message that things would be different from now.
“The message I get is this: ‘We are taking sides in this case from now on. This would create question marks in the prosecutors’ and judges’ minds although the army says it has full respect and belief in the judiciary… This shows the new army chief says ‘I am different, I am taking a stance’,” he added.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said it is not strange that the army backed its two valuable former commanders.
“It is quite usual for the TSK to ask after their health or if they need anything,” Onur Oymen, the party’s deputy chairman, said. He added that the CHP does not believe this visit should be criticized, and added that it was appropriate.hurriyet, Voice of a Nation