Bir used to order, Özkasnak used to comply
Extracts from Çevik Bir’s testimony to the prosecutor have been leaked to the press. How many of these are correct and how many are exaggerated, I don’t know. But what I read yesterday made my jaw drop.
Bir said this: “I came across Birand at a French piano recital. He asked me about the memorandum; he said there was such a document, but that he was not interested. He would not magnify it. I told him that I did not know of such a memorandum. Birand later used this document frequently in the press and he linked it with Feb. 28, although it was unintentional. They abused it. Terror incidents rose and journalists started going to Kandil [Mountain] and conducting interviews, then making headlines with them in their papers.” I simply must say a huge “have a heart” to this statement.
How can Çevik Bir forget? At that time, the boss of daily Sabah Dinç Bilgin and its editor-in-chief Zafer Mutlu had fired me. At that time, Erol Özkasnak was phoning the owner of Show TV, Erol Aksoy, on a number of occasions, openly warning them: “The commander does not want to see this man on your screens.” (Anyone who wishes to can ask Aksoy this). In the end, Aksoy had to suspend the TV program. And, after all this, Çevik Bir claims I told him: “This is not important, I am not making a big deal out of it.”
Is that possible? I never came across him at a piano recital, nor has there ever been such a conversation between us.
On the contrary, at a NATO seminar held at Istanbul’s Çýraðan Palace, Çevik Bir and I bumped into each other in the men’s room. My only question was: “General, what do you want from us?” His answer was only: “Nothing.”
I actually think Çevik Bir should ask about all this to Özkasnak. Because the former General Secretary of the General Staff Erol Özkasnak was at that time the hit man of Chief of General Staff Ýsmail Hakký Karadayý and deputy Chief of General Staff Çevik Bir. Was he only following orders, or was he making additions to them, I don’t know.
At the basis of why they wanted to punish me was the fact that I was opposed to the official military ideology on the Kurdish issue, and I was critical of what was being done to the Fethullah Gülen movement and his schools. This was told to me very openly by Güven Erkaya. He did not hide the fact that my file in the West Working Group (BÇG) was a thick one.
As far as I know, it was Karadayı or Bir who gave the order, and it was Özkasnak who immediately complied with it.
Arrested deputies do not deserve this
Right now, nine deputies, elected by the people’s votes, who have been assigned to represent us, are still in prison.
Why? We have interpreted the constitution and the laws as such that in the end we have condemned them to the prison. This stemmed from a mutual showdown. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), acted deliberately to score a hit against the ruling party, knowing that they could face such a consequence, to show that they do not care about the legal cases. On the other hand, the ruling party, to prevent them scoring against it, resisted and won. In other words, all of these deputies were sacrificed for a political game.
Months have passed and the issue has not been solved.
The ruling Justice and Development Party know only too well the games that were played against them in the past; they should not now stage the same games and political fights against their colleagues.
Let’s not forget, the trap that others are falling into today may well swallow you tomorrow.