Legal action on coup cases launched after ‘plot’ claims, Turkish Armed Forces say

Legal action on coup cases launched after ‘plot’ claims, Turkish Armed Forces say

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Legal action on coup cases launched after ‘plot’ claims, Turkish Armed Forces say

The General Staff filed the complaint on Dec. 27, it was revealed last week after lawyers of the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) confirmed that formal legal action was taken. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkey’s General Staff has officially confirmed that it has filed a formal demand for an investigation into claims that convictions in recent coup-plot cases were a “conspiracy.”

The statement referred implicitly to a political figure’s suggestion of a “plot” as the trigger for the decision to launch legal action.

“Accordingly with the necessity of ‘being a state of law,’ the Turkish Armed Forces has avoided comments that could influence the trials and investigations against some of its members; it shared its thoughts with the competent institutions, made proposals, awaited results and did not engage in any legal action during the process for all these reasons as stated in a press statement on Dec. 27 [2013],” the General Staff said.

“However on the same day, following statements by a political figure in the press, the public has been informed through a written statement and a criminal complaint has been filed at the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office,” the statement added. 

The decision to start legal action came just days after the prime minister’s top political adviser, Yalçın Akdoğan, spoke of a “plot” in a column Dec. 24, 2013, in daily Star.

Akdoğan suggested hundreds of military officers who were convicted of plotting to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had been framed by groups within the judiciary who are now allegedly orchestrating a widespread corruption probe against Erdoğan’s allies.

In its official complaint, the General Staff argued that evidence had been fabricated and manipulated in the coup-plot cases.

“The objective of the criminal complaint is to investigate the criminal complaints put forward and relieve the discomfort caused to public sensitivities, restore trust in justice and protect the rights, dignity and honor of members of the Turkish Armed Forces,” the statement said. 

The convicted military officers have long claimed that much of the evidence against them was fabricated. 

Recent news reports which said the military chief had requested the government’s help for a review of the officers’ cases prompted some analysts to interpret the ongoing process as a sign of an uneasy alliance forming between Erdogan’s government and the military against the Gülen movement.

The statement also said legal action had been launched against Republican People’s Party (CHP) Tunceli (Dersim) Deputy Hüseyin Aygün who had slammed Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, asking whether he was “the imam of the Turkish Armed Forces” over Twitter on Jan. 3.