Hilmi Özkök and a structural problem
Former Chief of General Staff retired Gen. Hilmi Özkök recently testified in the Ergenekon coup case. He admitted he was aware of the Ayışığı (Moonlight), Yakamoz (Sea Sparkle) and Sledgehammer coup plans and the gendarmerie’s illegal wiretapping activities.
He said he saw the Ergenekon plans with his own eyes, and yet he did not take any legal action. How can we explain this? First of all it can be said that he could not have taken legal action since he was the only one opposed to the plans. Secondly, there was no ideological difference between Özkök and the other commanders. Yes, he prevented a possible coup or e-memorandum during his term, but calling him a “hero of democracy” for this reason doesn’t sound reasonable. He was just a more rational, cautious and less adventurous general among a nationalist, militarist and statist group of commanders.