Former commanders join ‘coup plans’ row
Uğur Ergan ANKARA
Çetin Doğan, Turkey's former 1st Army commander. HÜRRİYET photoÇetin Doğan, Turkey's former 1st Army commander, has criticized the recent statements of former Land Forces Commander Gen. Aytaç Yalman over the "Balyoz" (Sledgehammer) coup plot case.
Doğan said retired Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ is an "honored soldier" and denied claims that retired Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök called him on the phone and told him to “watch his steps” after he allegedly heard of the coup plans.
“Although I did not agree with Özkök on every issue, he is an honest and honored man. He is not like Aytaç, who appears like an Atatürkçü [Kemalist] and yet does such things,” Doğan said.
Özkök declined to make any statement in response, saying he "did not want to get involved in a row."
Yalman had told daily Hürriyet on Dec. 14 that Başbuğ and Doğan – both of whom were working under his rank at the time – had not informed him of a seminar held by the 1st Army Commandership that allegedly featured the coup plot included in the original "Balyoz" indictment.
“That is to say, the seminar was held in violation of my orders. I learned about it later,” Yalman said.
Doğan, however, later told Hürriyet they had informed both the General Staff and Land Forces about the seminar.