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Monday, July 26, 2010     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

30 Turkish generals are among the 400 arrested, indicted for plotting against Islamist government

ANKARA — The Turkish government has been orchestrating a campaign, culminating in new indictments of top generals, to erode the traditional authority of the country's military brass.
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    Turkish opposition sources and independent analysts said that Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has been directing a campaign through the judiciary that has led to the arrest of more than 300 people and indicted more than 100, many of them military and police officers, on charges of plotting to overthrow the pro-Islamist government.

    The officers under indictment include nearly 30 generals. Some of these officers have been playing a major role in Turkish operations against the Kurdish Workers Party in northern Iraq.

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    The sources said the warrants and indictments threaten to decimate the senior cadre of the Turkish military.

    "The prime minister can ask the officers to be expelled," retired military judge Faik Tarimcioglu said.

    Under Turkish law, senior officers designated as suspects in a criminal case cannot be promoted. The Turkish daily Zaman said those indicted comprise 10 percent of all of the generals in the military, Middle East Newsline reported.

    "Those found with claims are laid off from duty," Ali Safak, a leading Turkish academic, said.

    The indictments have sparked alarm within the General Staff, which over the last year sought to reconcile with Erdogan. The sources said the Supreme Military Council plans to discuss the indictments in August amid decisions on promotions and retirement, including the expected departure of Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug.

    "Right now, I have hesitations regarding whether we should respect the law," [Ret.] Gen. Suha Tanyeri, one of those indicted, said.

    The sources said those indicted included a senior counter-insurgency officer, commander of a Turkish Navy submarine fleet and Third Army commander Gen. Saldiray Berk. The indictments have been handed down by a criminal court in Istanbul, which does not have authority to enter military facilities.

    Under Erdogan, the government has marginalized the military, which until 2003 was regarded as the last word on Turkish politics. On July 24, the prime minister said he was prepared to revise a law that allowed the military to intervene in government affairs.

    "Let us set up a commission and discuss the issue in all aspects," Erdogan said. "Let's have the commission do its work. If need be we will convene parliament in an extraordinary session."

    Erdogan said he was ready to use his overwhelming majority in parliament to amend the law when summer recess ends on Oct. 1. He said the revision of the so-called Internal Services Law would take place regardless of the opposition. The law, used to justify the 1980 coup, authorized the military "to protect and keep watch over the Turkish homeland and Turkish republic."

    The opposition has charged Erdogan with dominating the judiciary and law enforcement community. The prime minister has been campaigning in a Sept. 12 referendum that the opposition said would enable the ruling Justice and Development Party to control judicial appointments, including those for the Constitutional Court.

    "If you submit a 'no' vote in the referendum, they will not have anywhere to hide," opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said. "There is nothing they [Erdogan's party] would not do to reach their goals."


    It appears that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan is totally focused on creating a Theocracy in Turkey. He is doing more than "cutting his nose off to spite his face". His actions are a travesty and injustice to the Turkish people. What a shame that a beautiful country and culture are at risk of becoming the next "Iran".

    RuGettingThis2?      4:07 p.m. / Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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