Former top soldier skips coup attempt commission
AA photoA former head of the army who vocally opposed the Gülenist network and who was imprisoned on fabricated evidence at the alleged behest of the group failed to attend a parliamentary commission set to investigate the July 15 coup attempt, which was blamed on the community, due to health reasons.
Former Chief of General Staff İlker Başbuğ was expected to be heard by the parliamentary commission on Oct. 20 but had to cancel due to health reasons. The commission will set another date to hear Başbuğ, said the head of the commission, Reşat Peker, a lawmaker from the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Başbuğ served as chief of General Staff between 2008 and 2010 before retiring from the army. Months after his retirement, he was taken under investigation within the scope of the Ergenekon trials, a series of trials in which alleged members of a suspected organization, Ergenekon, were accused of plotting against the Turkish government. Başbuğ was sentenced to life for plotting against the government and leading an armed terrorist group. Later, he was acquitted on the grounds that the local court could not provide a reasoned decision concerning the conviction. In April 2016, the country’s highest appeals court decided to overturn the local court’s convictions on the ground that prosecutors were unable to prove the existence of the Ergenekon organization.
The coup commission, which was formed and approved by parliament, assigned nine lawmakers from the ruling the Justice and Development Party (AKP), four from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), one from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to listen to prominent figures and prepare a report to be submitted to parliament. The commission had its first meeting on Oct. 7, and decided who to summon on Oct. 13.