Gendarmerie command to open disciplinary proceedings against mourning lieutenant colonel
Uğur Ergan – ANKARA
DHA PhotoTurkey’s gendarmerie general command is set to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the uniformed lieutenant colonel who blasted senior politicians during the funeral ceremony of his killed soldier brother, according to sources.
Lieutenant Colonel Mehmet Alkan, the elder brother of slain soldier Ali Alkan, directly targeted politicians during the funeral, questioning the reasons behind the latest outbreaks of violence.
“Why do those who have been saying ‘solution’ since yesterday now say war?” Alkan asked. “Who is his [Ali Alkan’s] murderer?”
Following the outburst, which was caught on camera, sources told Hürriyet that the gendarmerie general command is set to start disciplinary proceedings in accordance with internal procedures.
“Initiating disciplinary proceedings is standard operating procedure. Testifying during proceedings does not imply that a person is guilty. The lieutenant colonel will explain what happened. It is wise to wait until the proceedings are over,” one source stated.
When asked for his opinion, Mehmet Alkan said there “wasn’t much more to say.”
“I am leaving the rest to God. What more can I say?” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking to Hürriyet, Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk suggested that the lieutenant colonel’s reaction was “understandable but wrong.”
“We need to see his brother as a martyr. When I consider his comments in that light, I understand. But it is still not right for a person in uniform to make such political comments,” Öztürk said.
On Aug. 25, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also commented on Alkan’s protest during a press conference, shortly after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan formally appointed him to form an interim government.
“I believe he uttered those words in pain, which is a humane response. Although we understand the pain, we must still preserve dignity during these hard times,” Davutoğlu said.
Army captain Ali Alkan was killed in an attack against a military outpost in Turkey’s southeastern Şırnak province’s Beytüşşebap district on Aug. 21. The attack was staged by militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Tensions escalated during the funeral of slain army captain Ali Alkan when several Justice and Development Party (AKP) politicians were prevented from taking the front row during the prayer service.