Released Balyoz convicts visit Anıtkabir
ANKARAA day following their release from prison, convicts from the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case have visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.
The Balyoz convicts and their relatives stood in homage to Atatürk and sang the national anthem in Anıtkabir on June 20.
The group later visited the grave of their friend Colonel Murat Özenalp, who lost his life less than two months ago, while he was still behind bars.
Their cases would serve as a precedent for others suffering, retired Admiral Atilla Kezek told reporters.
“This thing they call ‘Balyoz’ has never existed. If ‘Balyoz’ was an attempt for a coup d’état, they were not our friends, but a gang,” Kezek said, stressing that none of their associates admitted to taking part in a coup d’état.
Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) says they will initiate the restoration of honor for the purged commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces.
“The retirement of officers that had to step down due to the Balyoz case should be cancelled, a rise in rank for detainees should be allowed and the supreme military council should be reconsidered in a way that includes detained and convicted officers,” CHP parliamentary deputy group chair Akif Hamzaçebi told reporters June 20.
The CHP will next week submit relevant law proposals to Parliament, he added.