Turkish politics roundup (3): Ergenekon trial/ Col. Çiçek sacrificied by the coup plotters?

The military?s weapons by MÜMTAZ?ER TÜRKÖNE

Turks take pride in their military heritage and in being a ?people of the army.? However, debates on adopting a professional army reveal just how little Turks know about military matters.

Assassination plans of “Sledgehammer”

from Hurriyet Dailynews
The indictment of the alleged coup plot known as Operation: Sledgehammer (Balyoz) has revealed eight assassination plans with specific targets.

ABDULLAH BOZKURT – Accountability and the YAŞ meeting

In a private meeting not long ago where a couple of leading US senators met with a group of Turkish deputies in a quiet, prestigious restaurant in Ankara, I was the only writer to join the discussion.

FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK – Deep silence before treason

A report that appeared in the Bugün daily last week revealing that an air forces officer in wire communications asked a high-ranking air forces pilot to shoot down Herons or change their flight plans because they were causing too much damage to outlawed Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) terrorists, who he spoke of as ?ours,? came as a shock to many who looked to the General Staff for an explanation.

Plot Col. Çiçek and two naval commanders to be expelled at YAŞ
Today’s Zaman
to downplay the Ergenekon investigation and to gather support for members of the military arrested as part of the investigation into Ergenekon.

The dubious case of Col. Çiçek

from Bosphorus Diary by Yavuz Baydar

Well, we all know Turkey is a puzzle. But, if it is translated correctly, I think the ?reading? by American Ambassador James Jeffrey of the spectacular trials on conspiracies and threats (under the symbolic umbrella called Ergenekon) against a fragile democracy is correct.
In an interview with the Hürriyet daily Jeffrey expresses confidence in general and says: ?On one hand, there is evidence which make people think that [Ergenekon] is not a fantasy, and which causes legitimate concern. On the other, the release of a lot of people gives trust in the rule of law, and that the rights of innocent people and even potential criminals are also under protection. There is also increasing evidence which signals that some fire exists beyond the smoke. This is a complicated case. But at the same time there is a common understanding that the tenets of Turkey?s political system will not be shattered by this, and that the country is overcoming these complicated issues through maturity.?


In many of my writings I have used phrasing related to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) having ?become a focal point of illegal activities and organized crime.?

FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK – Sacrificing Col. Çiçek

In a move that came as a surprise to many, the military prosecutor?s office put forward an indictment on a controversial military action plan to damage the image of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the faith-based Gülen movement in the eyes of the public, which put all the blame for the preparation of the document on Col. Dursun Çiçek, whose signature appears on a plot document.

BÜLENT KENEŞ – Damage control

Apparently the Action Plan to Fight Reactionaryism — a document popularly known as the ?action plan to end the AK Party and Gülen,? which bears the signature of Col. Dursun Çiçek, the debates over the authenticity of which have been occupying our agenda — was neither a ?piece of paper,? as Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ said, nor, as he also said, an asymmetrical propaganda assault.

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