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May 31, 2012, Thursday

PM gives glad tidings to subversive generals!

In a recent voice recording that allegedly belongs to Rear Adm. Fatih Ilgar, who is currently in jail in the case against the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plan -- which aimed to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) by creating chaos in the country through acts such as bombing mosques and taking down Turkish warplanes -- he says the defendants in the Balyoz trial will be released after the passing of a new bill, which is expected to happen shortly, after which they plan to trigger a civil war.

“There is a bill on the agenda. They will release us from prison thanks to that bill,” Ilgar says, claiming that they will be discharged from prison in one or two months’ time. “This country will restore itself either with an economic crisis or civil war,” says Ilgar, and he further discloses the horrific plan that they intend to implement after they are released: “We have plans after we are set free. If it’s a war then we will make it a [civil] war.”

In another voice recording, posted on the video-sharing website, a person who is alleged to be Rear Adm. Cem Aziz Çakmak, another inmate under arrest in connection with the Balyoz probe, similarly says: “There will be revenge for the Sledgehammer probe within two years and it will hurt many.” Çakmak discloses that after they are released from prison, they will settle accounts with those who are outside and they will take revenge, including against families and children. He stressed that they will keep people hungry in their efforts for revenge.

Çakmak makes the following observation, which is quite thought-provoking about the power today’s government assumes it has: “Our revenge will come at a time when they feel most self-confident and it will be flawless ... Atatürk used to order that everyone in a city be seized, not even leaving children, in the event of a rebellion. The man saw [the future]. Even the children. We will take revenge, including on the children, when they feel most self-confident. So far we have made too many mistakes by feeling confident. Now, they are repeating our mistakes. This is what I believe. Do you know when a person is weakest? When he feels most self-confident, and it is also when he will be weakest. This is what I can say for now. We also had much self-confidence and we were weak because of it. They are now making the same mistake.”

You may think these two arrested admirals who were standing trial on charges of attempting to overthrow the government were speaking in this manner because they are in a mood associated with being in prison. But when you listen to these horrendous voice recordings in the light of the fact that the military bureaucrats of the Defense Ministry have long been working on a well-devised draft bill so secretly that even the Defense Minister does not know about it, I think you might change your mind.

In addition, when you read the statement Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım, one of the ministers closes to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, made during his visit to Milan, I am sure you assessment will be quite different. Minister Yıldırım says: “The durations and rates of detention and arrest are too high [one cannot agree more with this criticism]. For this reason, we will introduce an arrangement concerning [Article] 250 [of the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK)]. A decision about this has already been made. ... The Justice Ministry is currently working on it.”

The true glad tidings to the generals and admirals who are being tried under the Balyoz case came directly from Prime Minister Erdoğan on Wednesday night. “Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım stated that you ordered changes to Article 250 of the CMK. The change of this article might result in the release of nearly 800 suspects jailed in connection with the cases against Balyoz, Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) and other major trials. A journalist posed a question to the prime minister: Are you planning to amend Article 250?” Erdoğan replied wıth: “The matter is not specific to Article 250 of the CMK. The Justice Ministry is working on four judicial packages. ... Currently, our Justice Ministry has made tremendous progress. I think they will make final revisions on it during the next week and send it to Parliament and then we will see the text.”

All this implies that a deep network nested within the state has been working seriously to manipulate the government in order to ensure the release of coup defendants. Moreover, it appears, although the general public has not been informed about these preparations, the defendants already know about it. And it further appears that with the excitement they feel about this glad tiding, which is concealed from the general public, Ilgar and Çakmak had the courage to hurl those threats in the above-mentioned voice recordings.

As you might recall, in two interim decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in regards to applications by Tuncay Özkan, a defendant in the case against Ergenekon, a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government, and by retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, a defendant at the Balyoz trial, the ECtHR held that there is no problem with the investigation, arrest and trial of the said defendants. Prime Minister Erdoğan, on the other hand, is in favor of releasing the defendants who plotted to overthrow his government. I hope the prime minister is aware that the government’s meddling with Article 250 -- which empowers specially authorized prosecutors and courts and with which the ECtHR had not expressed any criticism in regards to their decisions about Özkan and Doğan -- will leave the nation and democracy defenseless against juntas and terror.

But I have many reasons to be pessimistic. In this context, I cannot agree more with the words of my friend Bekir Berat Özipek, from the pro-government Star newspaper: “My addressee is the government in which I invest my hopes for justice, freedom and peace in this country. But I have been watching with concern the recent approaches of the government. I want its “apprenticeship” period back. I am worried to hear the government speak in the language of the old established system instead of completing the institutional arrangement that will purge the bureaucratic oligarchy at a time when the deep evil is preparing to hit back at the nearest opportunity for a revenge “including children.” Today, we criticize the government, but [neo-nationalist/Kemalist] Mümtaz Soysal is praising it. What is a more ominous sign than this?”

In his column at the Bugün newspaper, Gültekin Avcı, a democratic expert on law, writes the following about the same issue: “The rate of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) members who have subversive tendencies is as high as 70 percent. Has this pro-coup mentality changed? Has the curriculum of the War Academy been democratized? No. There is still no civil supervision over the TSK. Neither the presidency or Prime Ministry nor the Defense Ministry or Parliament can inspect the TSK. ... So, what are the three things that have changed? The answer is the specially authorized prosecutors who actively work against terror and juntas, a chief of general staff who appear to be loyal to democracy and the government as well as the rising democratic perceptions in the society. The weakest link in this trio of change is the Chief of General Staff. Indeed, if he does not have an army of democratic and effective military officers, the Chief of General Staff alone cannot render a junta ineffective. In particular, the recently disclosed voice recordings are harbingers of danger. There is a new junta. It is a gamble to think that they cannot stage a coup and wait. These recordings refer to a junta that is nested within the TSK and waiting for a specific time. ...”

Famed Islamic polymath Ibn Sina (Avicenna) said: “No one can be more blind than the one who does not want to see.” May God protect us from the euphoria stemming from the false assumption that we have power. May God keep us and the government, from irreversible errors that may risk the future of this nation and the democratization process.

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