18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Çubuklu points to former military chiefs' role in propaganda websites case

29 May 2012, Tuesday /TODAY'S ZAMAN
Hıfzı Çubuklu, a legal representative for the General Staff who is jailed as part of a case into anti-government websites allegedly established by the military to discredit the government, said in his defense statement at court on Monday that some of the controversial websites were established during the terms of former Chiefs of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök and Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt.

At the latest hearing of the propaganda websites trial at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court, Çubuklu said a controversial news piece titled “Prayer show at the apron” and posted on irtica.org -- one of the propaganda websites -- that was later used as evidence in a closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in 2008 was posted during Büyükanıt's term as chief of General Staff.

Çubuklu said the fact that no legal action was taken against the highest-ranking officers of the time but was instead taken against individuals who had nothing to do with the propaganda websites does not conform to the individuality of criminal law.

“It is unacceptable from an ethical perspective that two military-run websites published stories in 2007 and 2008 against the AK Party government; however, this situation had nothing to do with my responsibilities,” he said.

Çubuklu also recalled that the websites being investigated as part of the case were established in 1998.

“You just captured us. The irtica.org website was established on April 1, 2006. You know the chief of General Staff at the time was Gen. Hilmi Özkök,” he said.

The investigation into the propaganda websites began in 2010 based on evidence found at the home of retired Col. Hasan Ataman Yıldırım, another suspect in the websites case. Later, an anonymous tipster from inside the military sent an email to inform the public and prosecutors that the General Staff had established 42 websites for the sole purpose of disseminating propaganda against the government and religious communities.

The propaganda websites case was recently merged with the case against Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network alleged to have links within the state and that is suspected of plotting to topple the government.

NATIONAL  Other Titles
Suspicions remain on 21st anniversary of President Özal's death
Interior Ministry seeks to expel 20 police chiefs
Former Adana prosecutor, wife file separate complaints
Media hate speech targets Turkey's Alevis most, report reveals
Take a stroll in these İstanbul neighborhoods
Ruling party wants Erdoğan presidential bid, say party officials
Turkey to hold further talks with Twitter
Film on young victims of Dersim massacre shown in Ankara
PKK kidnaps former mayor, three people in southeastern Turkey
Exemplary democrat Turgut Özal commemorated on 21st anniversary of death
Opposition deputy: CHP will apply to Constitutional Court over dershane law
Pro-gov't dailies report conflicting news on leaked audio on Syria
‘Nonexistent' Berkin Elvan video footage found
MHP leader calls for end to polarization
Prosecutor dismisses complaint against PM and ‘Alo Fatih'
İkizdere villagers march in protest of tree massacre
American citizen returns historic work to Turkey
Prosecutor drops probe into '94 airstrike that killed 38 villagers
PM avoids suing critics of corruption out of fear ‘truth may come out'
AK Party deputies pass MİT law article-by-article despite warnings
Ministerial bureaucrats purged after being profiled by MİT
Chief ombudsman laments low implementation of KDK recommendations
Purges in police force leading to higher crime rate
AK Party government punishing reassigned police officers
Commemorations for former President Özal, supporter of Turkish schools abroad