Ex-top soldier in jail warns of ‘safe havens’
Those fighting against terror do not feel secure, retired Gen Başbuğ says in jail.Former Chief of General Staff Ret. Gen. İlker Başbuğ, a suspect being held under arrest in the Ergenekon case, has said officials fighting terrorism do not feel secure, in a statement released through his lawyer.
“Last week we learned that 37 jailed generals and admirals were being retired by a decision of Turkey’s Supreme Military Council [YAŞ]. I know most of them personally. I believed that they would go on to serve the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] for a long time. I would like to express my distress at that decision on behalf of all of them and the Turkish army,” Başbuğ said in a written message sent to CNNTürk.
“In principle, I think it is wrong to review developments from a military perspective without knowing the geography of the region, and the conditions the security forces and the terrorists face. It is as though they aim to form a liberated zone in Şemdinli. The army is trying to maintain its fight against terrorism within a legal framework without harming civilians. Of course this is true. But it could prolong the period. The important point here is that although you are carrying out this struggle within a legal framework, you risk accusation in the statements of ‘anonymous witnesses.’ This is a delicate issue. Officials should feel secure. First of all, the ‘secured zone’ used by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq must be cleared away. The second crucial point is that measures should be taken to encourage [the PKK to] leave the mountains,” Başbuğ said.