'We have no intention of having military tutelage,' Gen. Özel said. CİHAN photo
Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel said he has no intention to bring about a military tutelage, which would not be revived again, in a letter to daily Hürriyet to explain the recent statements and actions of the military.
“We have no intention of having military tutelage. There won’t be military tutelage again,” Gen. Özel was cited as saying by Ahmet Hakan in his column in daily Hürriyet on Jan. 8.
On Jan. 6, the General Staff officially confirmed that it had filed a formal demand for an investigation into claims that convictions in recent coup-plot cases were a “conspiracy.”
“The General Staff did not take any instructions from anyone about the issues in the areas of its duty or before the latest ‘filing complaint’ (for the investigation into the convictions in the coup plot cases),” said the statement.
Gen. Özel said that the General Staff was open to criticism and welcomed the criticisms with respect. However, the Turkish army’s reaction was against those who used ugly definitions for its actions, said Gen. Özel in his message.
The General Staff also said in the statement that it will continue to do its duties within the democratic rule of law system.
Families of military officials who were convicted in the coup plot cases Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) criticized the stance of the General Staff toward them and the suspects in prison.
The General Staff also said that all the trials in which members of the Turkish army were suspects were followed by the military personnel in the courthouse and the chief of general staff was informed about these trials on a daily basis, in a response to the criticisms from the families.
The statement also said that the military personal under arrest were visited regularly in the prisons, adding that these visits still continued to take place. The demands of the military personnel under arrest were also submitted to the General Staff, according to the statement.
It added that the Turkish Armed Forces had to comply with the laws and the results of the judiciary process were awaited prior to taking any action, responding to the claims that the Turkish army was late to file a complaint against the coup plot trials.