Turkish army refutes CHP’s claims regarding espionage case
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel (2nd L) visited CHP on Aug. 9. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZNo member of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has so far been arrested on charges of espionage in connection with an ongoing military espionage case, the TSK said in a statement posted on its website Sept. 18, apparently in response to a report on the issue released by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Sept. 17.
The CHP report claimed that 400 TSK members are being held under arrest on charges of espionage, and called on Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel to resign.
The TSK statement did not include a direct answer to the call for Özel’s resignation, but it said that the facts concerning the number of TSK members under arrest is not clearly known. The investigation began in 2010, the statement said, adding that “no member of the TSK have so far been arrested on charges of espionage within the framework of an ongoing investigation. It is understood from the arrest orders that the personnel were arrested on charges of being members of a gang and holding confidential information and documents.”
The office of the chief of General Staff has no information as to whether the personnel in question really possessed such confidential information, the statement said. The investigation is not over yet, it said, adding that the rights of those charged are protected by the Constitution and that they are innocent until proven guilty.
The chief of staff at the Turkish Naval Forces, Vice Admiral Veysel Kösele, was arrested recently as part of the military espionage probe, and the CHP released its report following this arrest.
The investigation is focused on a gang that reportedly targeted active-duty officers with knowledge of details about military radar locations. The suspects are charged with listening to private phone conversations and spying on some officers’ bedrooms via hidden cameras in order to blackmail them. The suspects are also charged with sending women escorts to the officer’s homes. Ninety-three people, including 59 active-duty soldiers, have been detained in connection with the probe.