Turkish army ‘shares sorrow’ of convicted soldiers
DHA PhotoTurkey's General Staff feels “sorrow” for the sentences that were meted out on Sept. 21 to 324 soldiers as part of the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case, the military said in a statement released today.
"We deeply feel and share the sorrow of our friends-in-arms and their families. The Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] believes that a righteous and definite decision will come out at the end of the judicial process. The TSK, as it did in the past, respects the superiority of law,” it said.
A court in Istanbul sentenced 324 retired and serving soldiers to prison terms ranging between 13 and 20 years in the Balyoz case, which heard allegations that soldiers planned to overthrow the government through a variety of measures, including the bombing of two prominent Istanbul mosques, an attack on a museum by perpetrators disguised as Islamists and the raising of tensions with Greece by shooting down a Turkish jet in an incident that was to blamed on the Aegean neighbor.
The convicted soldiers include retired Air Force Cmdr. Gen. İbrahim Fırtına, retired First Army Cmdr. Gen. Çetin Doğan and retired Navy Cmdr. Adm. Özden Örnek, who were each sentenced to 20 years in prison for drawing up the reported coup plans after taking part in an army seminar in 2003.