European Union follows Cage action plan ‘very closely’

European Union follows Cage action plan ‘very closely’

November 24, 2009, Tuesday/ 16:48:00/ SELÇUK GÜLTAŞLI
The European Union has announced that it has “very closely” been following developments related to a Naval Forces Command plan, called the Cage Operation Action Plan, aimed at discrediting the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

In a written statement the commission made clear that it has been following all Ergenekon-related developments, including the latest Cage plan. EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn's spokesperson, Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio, said they were waiting for justice to take its course and reveal the truth. “We follow this latest development as well as all others linked to the Ergenekon case very closely. Democrats in Turkey and the EU expect that justice will unveil the truth, and nothing but the truth, in full respect of due judicial process,” Altafaj-Tardio said.

The Cage action plan was signed by Lt. Col. Ercan Kireçtepe and was planned to be put into operation by a team of 41 members of the Naval Forces Command. It envisaged the assassination of prominent non-Muslim figures and the spreading of propaganda to increase internal and external pressure on the AK Party, leading to its demise in politics, according to the plan.

The action plan would be implemented to lend support to suspects arrested so far as part of the Ergenekon investigation, render ineffective so-called psychological warfare waged by the AK Party and its supporters (against the military), change the course of the agenda in Turkey, boost the morale of the junta within the Naval Forces Command, and win the appreciation and support of the public. The blame for each of the assassinations by the junta would be put on the AK Party.

In its annual progress report made public on Oct. 14, the European Commission referred to the Ergenekon investigation as an opportunity for Turkish democracy. “This case is an opportunity for Turkey to strengthen confidence in the proper functioning of its democratic institutions and the rule of law,” the report said.

The murders of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and three missionaries in Malatya were mentioned in many EU documents and referred to in the progress report. “Reports by civil society organizations and statements by witnesses, in particular regarding the alleged criminal network Ergenekon, the murder of three Protestants in Malatya and the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink cases, highlighted these concerns in specific cases. As regards the latter case in particular, a report from the Prime Ministry Inspection Board questioned the security forces’ role prior to the murder. According to the report, the security forces appeared to refrain from taking action after having received credible information about death threats against Mr. Dink. The trials in Istanbul, Samsun and Trabzon on this murder are continuing, but have not been merged, as has been requested by the lawyers representing the family of Mr. Dink,” the report said.

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