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Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan visited  the retired General Ergin Saygun's at the Mehmet Akif Ersoy hospital in Istanbul on Feb. 9. AA photo

Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan visited the retired General Ergin Saygun's at the Mehmet Akif Ersoy hospital in Istanbul on Feb. 9. AA photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited retired general Ergin Saygun, whose 18-year prison sentence in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot trial was postponed after a medical report released Feb. 7, at a hospital in Istanbul Feb. 9. The former general remains in critical condition after a heart operation hours after his prison sentence was postponed, but his daughter Ece Saygun wrote on her twitter account that his situation was “hopeful.” Erdoğan spoke with the doctors of Mehmet Akif Ersoy Hospital, where Saygun is still being treated, inquiring on his current state of health.

Erdoğan's significant visit to one of the convicted generals of the Balyoz case comes amid his public criticism of the long detention periods issued to army officials. He emphasized the poor health situation of some of the convicted former generals during a live television interview on Jan. 25 and also called Ece Saygun on Feb. 8 to convey his wishes for a speedy recovery to her father.

Short after Erdoğan's visit, Ece Saygun wrote on her Twitter account that her father has been very surprised and pleased. "It has lifted his spirits. Of course, we could not talk [about] anything. When my father wanted to speak, [doctors] took out his oxygen tubes. 'Thank you. You took effort [to come here],' he said. He said it of course over a long amount of time. We could not stay long by his side, only 5/7 minutes," she wrote.

President Abdullah Gül has been the latest state official to call the daughter of the hospitalized former general, the Turkish media reported Feb. 9. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and General Chief of Staff of the Turkish Army Necdet Özel were also among the officials who called Ece Saygun to wish her father a speedy recovery

February/09/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Murat

2/10/2013 4:36:19 PM

I think there are different conservative forces at war in Turkey for power to rule over all Turks. Mighty Erdogan can deal with mighty TSK but not the "army of the imam" it seems.

Faruk Beisser

2/10/2013 9:26:23 AM

Just a show to garner votes for the next election! And what kind of doctors would remove oxygen tubes to prevent speaking? Is it cos they are members of Gülen/Erbakan AKP and don't want the general to tell the truth when the press is there also?

jeffrey Jeffrey

2/10/2013 9:20:45 AM

That must have been as comforting as a visit from the grim reaper or a djin.

Hakan Salci

2/9/2013 7:30:11 PM

Have these people no morals or feeling of guilt? Slowly but surely the people's anger is being vented across the whole of Turkey over the treatment of our Generals and the slander they have been subjected to as terrorists. In which other country has anyone heard of their officers being charged as terrorists? Only in Turkey; a shambles only inherent to us. The visit of the PM is nothing but a PR stunt by our Great Leader to limit the damage that has already been done to his image and party.

Faruk Timuroglu

2/9/2013 6:08:15 PM

He visits his ailing victim to express neither remorse nor contrition but extricate himself and uncover a scapegoat for the sins done. A great capacity of changing personality.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

2/9/2013 5:09:09 PM

Erdogan is a skillful politician, his campaign for the constitutional referendum has started.

Tekion Particle

2/9/2013 4:11:25 PM

Mr Erdogan must have realised how unpopular this witch hunt is proving to be and now he is playing the good guy. It is nothing more than a publicity stunt.
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