Turkish dailies in 2010 printed a photo showing Başbuğ's son, Murat Başbuğ, with an alleged terrorist, Hasan Lala, who was arrested in April 2009 on suspicion of being a member of the terrorist PKK and planning to stage attacks on military and police targets. The original photo was published by the Vakit daily in July 2010 and sparked outrage in the country.
Following the publication of the photo by media outlets, the General Staff issued a written statement, saying the photo was taken randomly at a gathering of a group of friends. However, author Süleyman Yeşilyurt claims that six other photos have been taken of Lala and Murat Başbuğ since 2003 in various locations. The photos will be published in a book by Yeşilyurt, “Paşaların Dünyası” (The World of the Pashas).
According to the military sources' allegations, Lala and the PKK blackmailed the then-chief of General Staff with these photos. During Gen. İlker Başbuğ's term, the terrorist organization allegedly established several camps, including major ones, among them Kavaklı and Armutlu, in the southeastern province of Hakkari.
Plans to conduct an operation against the terrorist organization in Hakkari were rejected by a commander in the region to avoid casualties from the Turkish military. However, according to military sources, the denial of permission for military operations was made on Gen. İlker Başbuğ's orders.
Author Yeşilyurt claims Başbuğ sacrificed Turkish soldiers to save his own son.
The paths of Lale and Murat Başbuğ allegedly crossed because of their shared love of luxury. Lala owned a car gallery and an advertising and modeling agency.
Gen. İlker Başbuğ is currently being held in prison due to his alleged involvement in an Internet campaign to discredit Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.