This week three high-level military officers were suspended by government ministers for their alleged involvement in the Sledgehammer anti-government coup plot, one of several that are part of the larger Ergenekon case, that is being investigated by the courts. Interior Minister Beşir Atalay suspended Gendarmerie Maj. Gen. Halil Helvacıoğlu on Monday and Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül suspended Maj. Gen. Gürbüz Kaya and Rear Adm. Abdullah Gavremoğlu on Wednesday.
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s government has removed three high-ranking officers from duty pending the outcome of a trial in which a group of military officers are accused of plotting to overthrow the Islamic-oriented government. ”
For the first time in Turkish history three generals were removed from their posts because of allegations against them. One general was accused of hiding evidence about an incident in which seven soldiers were killed by landmines that the Turkish military seeded.
I am sure you will read a lot about the suspensions of three generals by the interior minister and the defense minister. I am not deeply informed about the kind of crimes these three people perpetrated other than that they were involved with the Sledgehammer Plan as well as creating many dossiers which label people according to their beliefs and ideologies.
As soon as he felt a bit safer with regard to the fragile political landscape after his entry as chairman of the Republican People?s Party (CHP), one of the most defining moments for Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was to assemble a conference with a limited and secretive attendance that strictly adhered to the Chatham House Rule.
Republican People?s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu cannot prevent turmoil in his party. His winning an intraparty fight against former Secretary-General Önder Sav has not proven sufficient for him to maintain peace within the party.
One of the most popular subjects in politics is whether the Republican People?s Party (CHP) will change under the leadership of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, or to what extent it can change. In other words, can it be a left-wing, social democratic party or a democratic party at the center?
It has emerged that jailed outlawed Kurdistan Workers? Party? (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan?s reaction to a statement by Diyarbakır Mayor Osman Baydemir?s was harsher than previously thought. Baydemir had said that ?guns are not a means to solve the problem; the role of guns in the 21st century is finished.?
Essentially, Turkey?s internal and external threat perceptions have been influenced mainly by a military-led mentality designed to create a climate of fear inside and outside the country. Fear-based policies imposed from the top have created a Turkish society that is afraid of everything and thus lacking in self-confidence and maturity.
In about seven months Turkey will hold a general election. In the meantime it seems that the opposition parties are attempting to capitalize on religion. They know in most surveys of public opinion that opposition politicians rank lowest for honesty, integrity and dependability. So, how will the oppositional parties try to use the religious communities to advance their own political ambitions and maneuvers?