The general expected to be named to head Turkey’s land forces has been called along with 18 other military officers to testify as part of the Ergenekon probe.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (C) attends a wreath-laying ceremony with members of the High Military Council at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, in Ankara August 1, 2010.? Read more » REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Is Turkish constitutionalism losing its way again? There was an encouraging decade of consensus-building and liberalization between 1995 and 2004, but since the multiple crises of 2007 and 2008 it is hard to avoid the feeling that the country?s capacity for effective constitution-making is on the wane.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (L) chairs the annual meeting of the High Military Council as he is flanked by Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug (R) in Ankara August 1, 2010.? Read more » REUTERS/Umit Bektas
There is currently no regulation in the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, laws concerning the promotion of officers for whom an arrest warrant has been issued, so the decision to be made at YAŞ about the future of 11 generals and admirals remains crucial and could set a precedent for such cases
In response to the question ?Why don?t you temporarily remove from duty those members of the military for whom arrest warrants have been issued?? Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül said, ?The dossier has not been concluded.?
I cannot imagine a democratic country where the promotion of some generals in the military is regarded as this important and debated this much as is the case in Turkey. People of a ?normal? country would not care who is promoted and who retires in the military, knowing that such changes would not have any impact on his/her life.
In a column published in Zaman in March, I wrote: ?The Kurdistan Workers? Party [PKK], which is a result of the denial of Kurdish identity of part of its citizens by the Republic of Turkey, has after over 30 years of existence become a problem in itself for Turkey apart from the Kurdish question.
They downplayed Ergenekon, a shadowy, criminal network with alleged links to the state, and the Sledgehammer coup plot, which aimed to incite chaos in the country in order to facilitate a military takeover.
Haluk Özdalga, ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Ankara deputy, has said the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has been engaging in policies full of contradictions as has been demonstrated again recently regarding the debate surrounding the issue of the letter it sent to the Socialist group in the European Parliament. ?It is clear that the CHP not only faces hardships convincing the Turkish people with its arguments but also has difficulty convincing the foreign audience regarding why it will say ?no’ to the reform package,? Özdalga said to Today’s Zaman, answering our questions for Monday Talk.
Exactly 50 years have passed by since the May 27, 1960 coup, which changed the genetic codes of Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). A total of 7,200 military officers were forced to retire during that period. The coup had essentially affected the military?s make-up.
The Sledgehammer investigation was apparently “halted” after a meeting of Prime Minister Erdoğan and General Başbuğ, as reported by Taraf newspaper. The Hürriyet daily sees the reason in expected promotions of 11 generals and admirals part of the group of army officers subject to arrest warrants in the course of the investigation.
Writers, journalists, artists, scholars and activists, who have stated that they will ?neither say yes, nor no? on 12 September when the constitutional amendment package will be voted, call for a ?boycott.? The activists have called on ?the citizens not to go to polls at the referendum for the constitutional amendments that keeps the 12 September spirit.?
The most significant matter at the current Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting is whether the generals for whom an arrest warrant was issued by an İstanbul court in the Sledgehammer coup probe will be promoted.
It is simply mind boggling that all promotions and nominees in the Turkish military?s rank and file have been predetermined, at least until 2019, as if these posts were their given right upon graduating from the military academy.