Release from prison of former Chief of General Staff and right-wing extremists causes of concern

Release from prison of former Chief of General Staff and right-wing extremists causes of concern


By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara

The release from prison of the former Chief of the General Staff of Turkey, Ilker Başbuğ, who on August of 2013 had been sentenced to life imprisonment as the leader of the parastate organisation Ergenekon, is a cause of concern in Turkey.

Political analysts estimate that Başbuğ’s release is part of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempt to approach and form an alliance with the generals, who are the biggest enemies of the order of Fethullah Gulen.

The corruption scandals and the wiretap conversations featuring the Turkish prime minister that have been leaked on the internet, which according to some analysts are indicative of the corrupt way he was operating, have led him to seak an alliance with the “pashas”. A few months earlier, the same government have used the judiciary path in order to send more than 200 military officers in prison for their involvement in the parastate organisation “Ergenekon” and the intended military coup “Bayloz”. Among Ergenekon’s plans was the assassination of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Now members of the AKP point out that “Justice was controlled by members of the order of Gulen and we are now rectifying that mistake”.

Başbuğ who has been the Chief of the General Staff of Turkey from 2008 to 2010, never admitted the accusations against him. “They have stolen 26 months of my life”, he stated while coming out of prison.

The opposition newspaper Sözcü recommends Başbuğ “for President of the Republic”, while there are rumors concerning the founding of a political party by the former general.

Righ-wing exstremists are released from prison

The release from prison of right-wing extremist elements, the last few days, have raised concerns in Turkey for the creation of the political tension. The ones who were released are Erkan Tuncel, the prime suspect for the assassination of the Armenian reporter Hrant Dink, as well as the murderers of a German and two Turks in city Malatya of Turkey. The latter three had murdered their victims in a bookstore that was selling christian books. The formal justification for their release is the abolishment of the special courts in which they had been trialed, causing their sentences to be reduced by half.

New wiretap conversations between Erdogan and his son

A new wiretap telephone conversation between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal has been leaked on the internet. The conversation appears to have taken place on December 18, after the break out of the corruption scandal.

Bilal Erdogan reports to his father that “this order must be eliminated. We must do whatever it takes right up to the top (Gulen)”.

Erdogan is skeptical and points out that “we need a strong support from the mass media”.

“Father you will see the front pages tomorrow. The newspaper Takvim has the title ‘Imam’s lobby’. Everything is ready. Everyone await your orders, They will start aiming for the top”, is Bilal Erdogan’s response, to get the answer from his father: “let them use all they have”.

The prime minister’s son continues wishing for “new evidence to come from the secret services against Gulen”, while Erdogan says that “they (Gulen’s order) acquire more data from such sources”.

The telephone conversations of a million Turkish citizens were being watched legally.

According to Turkey’s Telecommunication Committee (TIB), for the years 2012 and 2013, the telephone conversations of a total of 1 million Turkish citizens were being watched by the authorities. These wiretaps were done “legally”, that is with the authorities’ approval, always under the suspicion of illegal acts.