Özkök testified as a witness in the Ergenekon investigation in 2009. In his testimony, Özkök said he was aware that some of his generals were preparing to commit illegal and antidemocratic acts, although he had never been asked to be a part of such plans as he would never have permitted or created an opportunity for the commission of such acts.
There have been claims that a planned military coup would have been staged in 2004 if then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Özkök had supported it.
The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court, which is hearing the Ergenekon case, also announced that former journalist and current Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Şamil Tayyar will also testify to the court as a witness.
Özkök, who retired in 2006 and settled in the western province of İzmir to lead a life out of the public eye, frequently lands on the national agenda due to the coup plans allegedly made during his term as army chief.
Retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, a key suspect in the ongoing Sledgehammer coup case, and his lawyers have been calling on Özkök and retired Land Forces commander Gen. Aytaç Yalman to testify in the case as witnesses.
In an interview in the Milliyet daily in March, when asked whether he has any plans to testify as a witness in the Sledgehammer case, Özkök said: “It is not up to me to do this. It is a decision that can only be made by the court. The penal code clearly indicates how one can testify as a witness. The Turkish Penal Code [TCK] says if the court summons one to testify in a case as a witness, only the president has the right to refuse; except for the president, all others are brought to court -- by force if necessary.”