Fırtına blacklisted AK Party candidates in 2004 local polls

Fırtına blacklisted AK Party candidates in 2004 local polls

Former Air Forces Commander Gen. İbrahim Fırtına

April 03, 2009, Friday/ 17:07:00
Former Air Forces Commander Gen. İbrahim Fırtına ordered the Republican Work Group (CÇG), which was reportedly involved in activities to influence the political and social atmosphere in Turkey several years ago, to collect information about the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) mayoral candidates ahead of the 2004 local elections and share that information with the press.

Documents seized in the homes of retired generals Şener Eruygur and Hurşit Tolon, who stand accused of leadership of Ergenekon, revealed that Fırtına was engaged in efforts to damage the popularity of AK Party mayoral candidates ahead of the local polls in 2004 and cooperated with the media to this end.

"We need to focus on university students and workers. The backgrounds of the target names [AK Party candidates] should be carefully investigated, and pieces of information worth using to blackmail them should be gathered. This information should be kept to be used against these names when necessary," the documents quote Fırtına as saying.

According to documents, Fırtına discussed with the CÇG when it would be best to share this information with the media. "We need to dampen the popularity of [senior AK Party member] Abdülkadir Aksu and [President] Abdullah Gül. They must certainly have darker sides to their pasts. We should uncover them," stated Fırtına.

Fırtına is also known to have blacklisted nine neighborhoods and dozens of public venues including restaurants, cafes and hotels in the central city of Kayseri along with Maj. Gen. Rıdvan Ulugüler. In the past Ulugüler sent military units under his command a list of places he deemed "problematic," noting that privates should be informed about the notification verbally and that the notification should never be hung on bulletin boards. Ulugüler's notification prompted a huge reaction from owners of public venues and neighborhoods that he deemed "problematic."

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