High-ranking soldiers' army ranks might be removed

High-ranking soldiers' army ranks might be removed

The military ranks of the high-ranking army officers will be removed if the decision of the court in Istanbul which sentenced many high-ranking army officers to decades in prison on charges of attempting to overthrow the government in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case is approved by the Supreme Court, daily Vatan has reported.

The active officers’ ranks will be in degradation and they will be “ordinary soldiers” if the decision is approved by the Supreme Court, according to the report.

A court in Istanbul has sentenced three retired generals to aggravated life imprisonment in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case on Sept 21, before the sentences were reduced to 20 years. Air Force Cmdr. retired Gen. İbrahim Fırtına, retired 1st Army Cmdr. Gen. Çetin Doğan and retired Navy Cmdr. Adm. Özden Örnek were convicted to life on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government by force,” but the terms were later reduced to 20 years because of the “incomplete attempt at staging a coup,” the court said.

Engin Alan, a retired general and a deputy from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was sentenced to 18 years in prison, as was retired Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, the former commander of the War Academies. Retired Col. Dursun Çiçek was sentenced to 16 years in prison while a total of 175 suspects were each sentenced to 13 years in prison.

A total of 331 of the 365 suspects were sentenced to prison terms, while 34 suspects were acquitted. The court decide not to release any of the 250 suspects under arrest, while also issuing arrest warrants to 69 suspects who were on trial without arrest.

Stripped of custody rights

After their sentences are approved by the higher court, the defendants will be stripped of their public rights, fatherhood rights and spousal rights. They will be able to conduct all their legal proceedings only through a guardian, who will be appointed. The custody rights of the defendant for any child younger than 18 years old will also be revoked. The defendant will not be able to conduct any legal proceedings as a husband or a father. Long-term sentences are also justified causes for divorce.