New prison to host active-duty soldiers

New prison to host active-duty soldiers

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
New prison to host active-duty soldiers

Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, who is under arrest in the ‘Balyoz’ case, has been transferred to another prison. DHA photo

Sixty-six officers arrested in high-profile coup plot cases were transferred to a former army headquarters in Istanbul’s Hadımköy neighborhood that has been partially converted into a penitentiary due to a lack of space in the Hasdal military prison.

Among the 66 active-duty officers transferred to the former First Armored Brigade Command Headquarters in Hadımköy was Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, the former commander of Turkey’s military academies and the top suspect in the ongoing “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case, as well as Lt. Gen. Korcan Pulatsü.

The suspects were asked by prison authorities whether they would prefer to be transferred to the newly converted prison in Hadımköy or continue to remain in Hasdal, where inmates reside in wards containing around 20 people, according to reports.

The legal proceedings for the transfer of the 66 officers were completed last week.

The suspects in question are on trial in the ongoing Ergenekon, Balyoz and Internet Memorandum cases.

The Ergenekon group is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup, initially by spreading chaos and mayhem throughout society.

Balyoz is an alleged military coup plot against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) drafted in 2003, while the Internet Memorandum case also refers to allegations about the distribution of propaganda on the Internet against the AKP and other targets.