Tremors of coup plot rock Turkish politics
ANKARA / ISTANBUL
The convicts of Balyoz coup plot case wave hands to their relatives while they are taken to prison after the court’s ruling. DHA photoWhile expressing sadness over the court verdict in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, in which 324 retired and serving soldiers were each sentenced to 13 to 20 years in prison, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) yesterday said they expected an equitable final verdict at the end of the judicial process.
The TSK statement, posted on its official Website, came four days after the ruling was made by a court in the Silivri district of Istanbul.
“With the survival of the Republic of Turkey, the virtuousness of being a state of law and our responsibilities, vis-à-vis our noble nation, being taken into consideration; while investigations and prosecutions launched about the members of the TSK have been followed closely, misunderstandings have always been avoided by acting with patience, steadiness, calmness and common sense,” TSK’s statement read.
“We deeply feel and share the sadness that our comrade friends – with whom we have worked together for many years – and their precious families have been living,” it said.
“As the TSK, like it has been the case up to today, from now on too, as a requirement of the respect to the supremacy of the law and within the framework of the principle of fair trial, we believe that the said trial will result with an equitable final judgment,” the statement said.
The Istanbul court heard allegations that soldiers planned to overthrow the government through a variety of measures, including the bombing of two prominent Istanbul mosques, an attack on a museum by perpetrators disguised as Islamists and the raising of tensions with Greece by shooting down a Turkish jet in an incident that was to blamed on the Aegean neighbor.
The convicted soldiers include retired Air Force Cmdr. Gen. İbrahim Fırtına, retired First Army Cmdr. Gen. Çetin Doğan and retired Navy Cmdr. Adm. Özden Örnek, who were each sentenced to 20 years in prison for drawing up the reported coup plans after taking part in an army seminar in 2003.
Prosecutor objects releases
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
While lawyers of 325 defendants who were sentenced in the Balyoz case continue objecting to the arrests, the prosecutor of the case objected to the releases. Prosecutor Hüseyin Kaplan filed an objection letter to the court against the release decision given to 36 people including retired Col. Abdullah Zafer Arısoy. Kaplan said after the decision was justified, he would present the grounds of his objection to the court.
Meanwhile, two retired soldiers and five soldiers on active duty were arrested yesterday out of the 69 defendants for whom arrest warrants were issued following the Balyoz coup plot case verdict.