Rear Adm. Ilgar threatens civil war after release from prison in recording

Rear Adm. Ilgar threatens civil war after release from prison in recording

May 25, 2012, Friday/ 10:16:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A voice recording posted online on Thursday allegedly features the voice of Rear Adm. Fatih Ilgar, who is currently in prison on suspected links to the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot, threatening the government with civil war after suspects who have so far been imprisoned for planning a coup d'état are released from prison.

In Friday's recording, posted on the file-sharing website, a voice allegedly belonging to Ilgar harshly criticizes the prime minister and senior military officers and says suspects who have been imprisoned on charges of plotting to overthrow the government are set to be released from prison in around two months thanks to a bill that will be voted on in Parliament soon. “There is a bill on the agenda. It will be passed [in Parliament] in one or two months' time. Information coming to me suggests this. They will release us from prison thanks to that bill. This country will restore itself either with an economic crisis or civil war. One of these two options will knock on our door one day. If it's a war [that knocks on our door] then we will make it a [civil] war. It [the struggle against the government] will not end here [in prison]. We have plans after we are set free,” the voice is heard as saying.

Ilgar was arrested last year as part of an investigation into the Balyoz coup plan, a subversive plot allegedly prepared by a clique inside the military that included plans to crash jets and bomb large mosques at busy prayer hours to undermine the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) with the hope of eventually overthrowing it.

In the recording, the voice is also heard directing implicit threats at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “They [military officers under arrest] are uneasy about the prime minister. We cannot tolerate the things that are going on. It will end one day. Then the wind will start blowing in our favor.”

Ilgar allegedly also insults four former chiefs of General Staff in the recording. He says Hilmi Özkök, Yaşar Büyükanıt, İlker Başbuğ and Işık Koşaner are “traitors.” “The four [men] are traitors. We ended up in here [in prison] because of them. All of them had problems. They were backed into a corner. The mistakes they made caused them to be backed into a corner. And they were unable to move. Their hands were tied, and we ended up in here. Now we need a leader. The former chief of General Staff [Koşaner] lost the chance to become our leader. He had no capacity to take initiative. He was unable to carry out any [anti-government] operation. He lost his control over the incidents. All those men [the four former chiefs of General Staff] are traitors. Their faces are very dirty.”

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