Başbuğ visits jailed colleagues after declaring indifference to Ergenekon ruling
The April 3 ruling came eight months after the verdict by the Istanbul 13th Court of Serious Crimes, announcing the finding that the organization has targeted a long series of governments. DHA PhotoFormer Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, a key suspect in the Ergenekon coup plot case, on April 4 visited jailed generals and admirals in the Mamak Prison of Ankara.
His visits come a day after visiting retired Gen. Engin Alan, who is also a deputy for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and has been convicted in the Balyoz (Sledgehgammer) coup plot case, in which he was jailed in another prison in the same city.
Başbuğ did not make a statement after his two-hour long visit to the prison based in a barracks. Yet, he had already commented on a long-awaited detailed ruling to the marathon Ergenekon trial which was issued April 3, the same day when he visited Alan at Sincan Prison, along with President Metin Feyzioğlu of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB).
“I didn’t take the indictments drafted by the specially authorized prosecutors seriously. I didn’t take the ruling delivered on Aug. 5, 2013 by the specially authorized court seriously. I didn’t present any defense either,” Başbuğ said in response to reporters’ questions.
The April 3 ruling came eight months after the verdict by the Istanbul 13th Court of Serious Crimes, announcing the finding that the organization has targeted a long series of governments.
The colossal detailed ruling, which runs 16,798 pages in three volumes, also said Başbuğ was not a “terrorist,” but a “suspect of terrorism,” adding that that definition also implied a political crime. Başbuğ was recently released on the grounds that keeping a suspect under detention pending an appeal without the release of the detailed ruling was a “violation of rights.”
“In an environment where ongoing cases at specially authorized courts in Turkey are said to have been a plot [against the military] and where the perpetrator of the plot is said to have been ‘chosen’ police officers, prosecutors and judges, please do not ask what I think about this detailed ruling. I don’t take it seriously. I advise you not to waste your time with it,” Başbuğ said.
“They released a 16,000-pageslong detailed ruling to defend this ruling. Should I feel pity for them, I can’t find the right word. I’ll just say this: Honorable members of the court, you could not defend that ruling even if you were to write a 116,000-pages long detailed ruling, let alone a 16,000-pages long ruling,” he added.