Ex-top general voices grief for young convicts in Balyoz
‘I am deeply aggrieved sentimentally, especially for the young convicts... Of course for other [convicts] too,’ ex-Chief of General Staff Gen Özkök says.The former Chief of General Staff, retired Gen. Hilmi Özkök, voiced his grief for young convicts in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, adding that his testimony would not change the case’s result.
Gen. Özkök said he was very sentimental and sad about the Council of State’s decision on the case and he felt sorry especially for the young convicts, daily Hürriyet reported on its website on Oct. 10.
“I have to say this that I do not want to talk about this decision because I am sentimental about this topic. Therefore, whatever I say, I will say it with a sense. I am deeply grieved sentimentally, especially for the young convicts... Of course for other [convicts] too,” said Özkök.
Özkök said if he had been summoned by the Balyoz cases’ prosecutors for a testimony he would have testified but it would not change the result of the case. “While I was being heard as a witness at the Ergenekon coup case, I also answered the questions regarding the Balyoz case… Now they say, ‘Hilmi Özkök has refrained from testifying at the Balyoz case.’ There is no such thing. As I told you, I have already said what I had to say. Besides, the State Council stated in its justified decision that when the present evidences are taken into account, my and Gen. Aytaç [Yalman]’s testimonies would not have changed the result and was therefore not sought for,” said Özkök.
The Balyoz coup plot case was brought to the agenda after documents titled “Balyoz Operation Plan,” dating back to 2003, were revealed by Turkish daily Taraf three years ago. An Istanbul court determined a seminar organized by the 1st Army Commandership on March 5-7, 2003, to be a coup plot, which the State Council approved in its decision released on Oct. 9.