Benden hala savunma yapmamı mı istiyorsunuz?
In order to assist the historians that will write about the events happening in our country today, I see it as my duty to share some of my thoughts and evaluations.
Turkish Army is a “National Army”
To the honorable Turkish nation,
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his brothers in arms have constructed the Turkish army in the light of the confidence and love that you feel for the Turkish soldier.
This army was formed from zero, only relying on the trust and support you showed to it.
This army has fought, since from the Independence War, without regards for its blood and life, without sparing any sacrifice despite the country’s risky and threatening geopolitical position to ensure your protection.
Thus, this army has been honored by your trust and this trust has taken a place of pride in your hearts.
Turkish Army is a “national army” for:
Any person, from all around the country, can find a place in the army.
Competence and merit is the basis of this Army. Differences such as race, religion and sect are never taken into account.
The personnel of this Army stay way from any political influence and thought.
In this army, from privates to generals, there exists brotherhood in arms bond, feeling and cooperation.
The reason for the existence of the Turkish army is to purely and simply serve the Turkish nation.
To serve the Turkish nation means to protect the independence of the nation you have established, the territorial unity of the land you live on and your integrity.
The Turkish Army is obliged to be ready to fulfill successfully these duties that will be assigned to it.
Thus, Turkish Army needs to be careful against any negative effects towards its ‘national army’ characteristic and integrity and to take precautions at the right time when necessary.
And this responsibility and duty is given to, primarily to the Chief of the General Staff, the Commander of the Armed Forces.
Those disturbed by this idea of the ‘national army’ existed in the past, exist today, and will no doubt exist in the future.
Their common goal is to destroy this historical trust you have in your army. This way, the Turkish army will lose its reputation in your eyes and the honorary position it holds in your hearts.
How will they attain their goals?
Before everything else, they must create the perception of an army that thinks of planning coups day in day out.
Some of the negatives factors in the Turkish Army’s past is an advantage at this point. By using this advantage and applying psychological operation; it is easy to create a negative perception in the eyes of the people.
The Turkish armed forces does not cover up its mistakes and does not side or protect the guilty, but this is of not importance to them.
During 2008-2010, an immense asymmetric psychological operation had been carried out to the Turkish Army.
There is great inequality in asymmetric psychological operation. This why it is called asymmetric.
Turkish Army is a big institution. Thus, it is a big target. Its activities are open, public. In this big institution, it is not difficult to find events that can be manipulated, exploited.
You can not achieve the desired outcomes by staying in defense to the asymmetric psychological operation carried against it.
However, being a state institution requires you to not only stay in legal boundaries but also to act in accordance with ethical and moral codes.
On the other hand, the opposite side does not have the obligation to do so nor respect those rules.
It is difficult to come from a world which has rigorous rules and fight against one which has none whatsoever.
After creating the desired perception via psychological operations, by creating an illusion, they can bring forth allegations without any concrete proof in order to open the doors to a legal trial against the military staff.
Accordingly, people are arrested at will, and other are discharged from the Turkish army, your army.
As if to confirm the things said earlier, a journalist who was supposed to come in as a witness to this court, yet later was given up on, wrote an article1 in January 2008. This article said:
“The coup plan has been revised. After the council, there is a period of 6 months of preparation, and then in the first quarter of 2009, at the most appropriate date, the time for action will come.”
According to this article, there was a revised coup plan and some people in Turkey, in the spring of 2009, would carry force and violence activities in order to stage a coup. Why does the journalist, who made this claim and was supposed to come in as a witness to this court, was given up on? Why asking the question “where is this revised coup plan” given up on? Is not this claim important for this case? Or did they wanted to stay out of causing a fiasco just like the one happened in the alleged “sledgehammer coup plan”?
Then, what has happened in the spring of 2009?
Did acts of force and violence occur in the name of a coup plan? No.
However, ever since the spring of 2009, unsigned and anonymous letters, fake digital data and secret witness statements have begun to spread with increasing intensity.
After these developments, a series of arrests, statements, innumerable accusations and court hearings impossible to follow ensued.
At every hour of everyday, any channel you turned on was reporting on these events.
This situation continues until today.
If we look at the events happened, one wonders whether an action plan designated by another center existed and that was the intention of the article written up in January 2008.
Let’s try to find the answer to this question with another assertive column2 written in November 17, 2009. This column was about a anonymous letter sent to the Istanbul’s Chief Public Prosecutor in October 2009:
“Let me give you a secret.
All of you, all of us, in fact, all of politics are being deceived.
Let me tell you, there is no informant army office there.
If you were to look at the documents, you will see that they have been gathered over a long period of time from different units, and from different time periods.
It is not possible for a single army office to gather these.
The documents are a result of a systematic labor done over time.
Perhaps these documents have been taken out of the armed forces and gathered, accumulated and filed in that way.
But some are doing social engineering and they are leaking these documents to the public little by little in order to keep it on the agenda.
I don’t believe this is the work of a single person. There is a big team preparing everything behind all of this.”
The events that took place show that it was important to take this notice into consideration.
It would not be incorrect to say that these events have been planned by a center and put into action by them systematically.
Especially during years 2009 and 2010, based on unsigned and anonymous letters, fake digital data and secret witness statements, Turkish Armed Forces personnel faced accusations and defamation.
Whole Turkish Army was presented as guilty with insulting statements.
This situation obviously worried the personnel and affected their morale negatively.
The duty, which is to defend the Turkish Armed Forces and to inform the public with correct information against such unjust assaults, is given to the Chief of the General Staff.
Throughout my duty as the commander of the Turkish army, staying in legal boundaries, I have been vocal about the injustices that took place, as part of my responsibility.
As I have said on June 26, 2009, I have shared all the information I had with the necessary authorities. I told them my opinion and recommendations on what to do.
I do not see it as a coincidence that many military staff who have participated actively in the fight against terrorism and intellectuals who have been aware of their responsibilities within the Turkish Republic are being judged in this case. Today, 457 retired and active officers are arrested. Furthermore, more than 2000 soldiers’ name are implicated in several different cases and investigations.
I do not see it as a coincidence that many military staff have had to leave their posts due to the case entitled Sledgehammer. These numbers may not seem important to some people. However the magnitude of this number is significant. Military staff that could have been qualified to rise up the command echelon have been liquidated.
My dear nation; what I have been trying to tell you is this:
The weakening of the Turkish Armed Forces is a matter that involves the future of the Turkish Republic.
This situation will only please your enemies.
Today, in many areas of our country, my fellow soldiers who have done their duties heroically and according to the law are standing trial by special courts and are detained in prisons. I know and believe with all my heart that they are innocent with regards to these unfounded accusations and these injustices have created true wounds in the souls of the population.
My fellow soldiers;
Integrity, honor, conscience, morals, and loyalty are irrevocable qualities for the Turkish soldier.
As Atatürk said, the Turkish soldier needs to be at the front of the sacrificing class. The Turkish soldier has one way of living and that is by protecting his honor!
You have not yielded in the face of injustice. You know that those who have will lose their rights along with their honors.
Our biggest strength and our strongest weapon in the face of all the injustices that we face is our honor and pride.
There is only one thing to do for our families and us; that is to protect our honor.
The Turkish nation has begun to notice the injustices that are being carried out towards the Turkish army.
Despite all things have done, Turkish Army appears among the most trusted institutions according to public surveys.
Like in the past, the nation will look after its army. Let no one have no doubt about that.
Our State’s Name is Turkish Republic, Nation’s is the Turkish Nation
My supreme nation;
The birth of the Turkish Republic is a miracle, a revolution.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his friends were able to realize this miracle, this revolution by counting on and by drawing their strengths from the Anatolian population.
Their holy aim was to create an independent nation in Anatolia. They were able to realize this miracle at the risk of their blood, their lives. From this rose the Turkish nation. In Atatürk’s own words: “It is the creation of a nation, the Turkish nation, from Turkey’s population”.
Regardless of ethnic, religious, linguistic difference, the people of Anatolia mixed through the leadership of Atatürk, yet through their own will became the Turkish nation.
It is not possible to be a nation without a land on which people breath freely and an independent state established on it.
Atatürk build this nation based on three fundamentals in order for it to be the last nation to be established on Anatolian soil:
Nation state, unitary state and secular state.
It is through the protection of these commonalities that the existence of the nation state, the Turkish nation can be maintained and held strong.
Our common culture, common language and common interests are our common denominators.
These denominators are what make us. If they disappear or weaken, there will no longer be an “us” but rather a “you and I”. This is called extinction, separation.
Just because there is this commonality does not mean that people should give up their own cultures or their own languages. Commonality does not hinder this.
As ethnic identities are symbolic of honor, so is our common identity.
Each nation that was established, disappeared and continue to survive throughout history has had a name.
The name of our state which was born like the sun in Anatolia and continues to shine is the Turkish Republic. The name of our nation is the Turkish nation.
It is not possible to understand why so much agitation is trying to be stirred up from these names.
My question is directed to those bringing this agitation:
Is your problem really with these names? Why do you ignore the fact that in France, they call the citizens French, or in Germany they call the citizens German? Does this naming not demonstrate that French and Germans are the individuals and members of that nation? Is this not the same situation in Turkey? Or is your problem rather with the three fundamentals – nation state, unitary state and secular state – from which the Turkish nation rose and which gives Turkey its unique character, making it a different and powerful country in its region and the world?
How can you be sure of the future of a nation where common cultural values and linguistic unity and national interests are being weakened and put into the background whereas personal and cultural interests are brought to the forefront?
Why is it that the strongest names in the globalizing sphere are holding on and strengthening their nation state structure and are trying to weaken or destroy those of others?
Did you know that federal nations have come about through the unification of independent states? Can you give another example other than Belgium for a nation that has moved from unitary state to a federal state? Is that what is trying to be done in Turkey?
Having these thoughts in mind, I had found it necessary to say these words at the takeover ceremony of the Land Forces Command on August 26, 2006:
“As always, we can clearly observe that there are interior and exterior sourced alternations projects for Turkey. The Armed Forces stand as an obstacle for those who seek these projects. They want the Army to stand idly by as they attack the notions of nation state, unitary state and secular state.”
The current constitution clearly outlines the basic qualities of the Republic and the basic duties of the state.
My words above are nothing other than defending the Constitutional obligations.
The Turkish Republic is a democratic, secular and social state of law.
The duty of the state, which is thickly underlined, is the fact that it is the guardian of independence, and the protector of the unity of the nation.
Is not, what we are experiencing nowadays, a proof that what I have underlined above on 25 August 2006, are correct?
Without protecting the nation state structure, you cannot protect the unity of the nation either.
Without protecting the unitary state structure, you cannot ensure the indivisibility of the country.
Without protecting the secular structure, you cannot protect democracy, you cannot protect human rights.
Without forming the social state structure, you cannot carry your people to the level of prosperity that they deserve.
Without protecting supremacy of the law, you cannot protect the future of the nation.
Most importantly, if you cannot protect its independence, you cannot protect any of the concrete or moral things that you have today.
This duty is for all the individuals that form the Turkish nation; it is a duty of citizenry.
My beloved nation: you have sacrificed a great deal and have suffered immensely because of the terrorist attacks undertaken by the separatist terror organization. Ending this pain that you have suffered has been our both primary and sincere objective.
We have believed sincerely that this objective can be accomplished by performing coordinated activities in security, economic, sociocultural and international areas.
In this framework, we worked hard and with great patience in our fight against the separatist terror organization. We lost thousands of lives and soldiers.
My Dear Nation; today, as yesterday, we sincerely want the pain you have suffered, without damaging the building blocks – national state, unitary state and secular state- of this nation, to end. To think the opposite is irrational.
One must not forget that these three fundamental characteristics enable Turkey to be strong, efficient and an example to others in her region.
Turkey has always been at the center of crisis areas throughout history. This situation will not change. If you look at the geography of Anatolia and the historical events played out there, you are able to see that only strong nations are capable of maintaining their being and the weak ones are swiftly left being in the dustbins of history.
Do not forget that history is merciless to those who cannot see ahead of them.
I would like to address each and everyone of you that is listening to me, and I would like to invite you to think for one moment:
You want to succeed by jumping and climbing up. However, you should first be able to stand your ground. If your connection to the ground you stand on is not solid, if it is shaking and unbalanced then you cannot jump, or rather you will stumble and fall.
Justice is the Foundation of the State
The judicial system and its practice is the ground, the foundation of the country.
What is the first thing that catches the eye in the courtrooms?
“Justice is the foundation of the state”
When the foundation, ground shakes, it can be the biggest catastrophe that a nation will face.
In such a situation, the nation will be encapsulated by a feeling of uncertainty, insecurity about the future that lies ahead.
These feelings are similar to those of persons on a boat, trying to advance in foggy weather, yet caught up in the feeling that an iceberg might hit them at any moment.
The worst part is, the politicians are also no longer in control of the boat.
If in a country, a Chief of the General Staff can be accused of being the leader of a terrorist organization while still performing his duty in the army; if the public surveys conducted, for example for the Sledgehammer case, demonstrate that overwhelming majority of the people believe that decisions taken were unjust, and if the accused of ongoing cases are being exalted, and justice is diminishing, the public and the authorities cannot accept these events as “ordinary”. The best friend of evil is the ordinary.
Please take a moment to reflect, to see before it is too late.
I think it will be useful to remind everyone of the words Atatürk said during the opening ceremony of the Ankara Faculty of Law on November 5, 1925:
“The negative and destructive force, which has led our nation to collapse, has been the legal system and its followers.”
I think that the duty that befall upon all of everyone, in a country, where justice is no longer standing on a firm ground, is this:
The line of defeatist thinking, where the acceptance of the world as an unjust place, has to come to an end. This line of thinking leads people to act the way they see fit, according to their personal interests. On the contrary, one has to stand up against all the unlawful practices, against the degradation of morality, within the framework of the law. Stand up, make your voice heard, and scream:
Regardless of how misused the law has become, they will not get away with turning back the wheels of history under the guise of justice.
I Have No Respect for the Final Opinion, I Have Nothing More to Say
During the hearing on March 27, 2012, I explained why I refuse to make a defense using these words:
“I am the 26th Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey.
No one has seen a Chief of the General Staff, who is both commander of the Armed Forces and also the leader of an armed terrorist organization in any country around the world.
This accusation can never be taken personally.
This accusation, in fact is as an accusation directed to the Turkish Armed Forces over me.
A Chief of the General Staff’s duty period having depicted legally in the indictment this way, is an extraordinary situation which should be thought as well from a political point of view.
It is also a very heavy and unfair accusation directed to our state in terms of politics.
I have never behaved illegally. My allegiance to democracy is apparent. This is very well known by the public and those who know me closely.
For these reasons, I have no respect for this indictment.
It is only a failed comedy to try to charge someone with such an indictment.
The General Staff is one of the most important chairs in the state and for this reason, the 148th article in the Constitution has given a special status to this chair. If there is to be any trial for me, the place for this trial is the Supreme Court.
For all these reason, I regard it as an heavy injustice to the Turkish Armed Forces and the rank which I held in it to make a defense. With this belief, I am not going to make a defense and I am not going to answer any questions.
During the 53 years that I wore the Turkish army uniform with pride and honor, I served my country, people, state and army with loyalty.
For those who claim the opposite, I believe that today I, and tomorrow the history will not forgive.”
Over a year has passed since March 27, 2012, the day I declared why I would not make a defense in your court. During this long period, the suspects gave their testimonies. Some witnesses were listened to. As for the witness request of the suspects, well, most of them have been denied. The lawyers and suspects sometimes managed to speak out, sometimes they couldn’t. Thousands of new documents were brought in, just like the report consisting of thousands of pages prepared by the judge delegate. Statements were recorded. Thousands of written and oral requests were made.
What happened after all of this?
On March 18, 2013, the prosecutors presented their final opinion to the court.
When looked at generally, one can easily recognize that the comments are more or less a repeat of the indictment itself.
Did any of the defenses make any difference to the allegations present in the indictment? No. Even worse, statements and documents that could be used in favor of the suspects were not even included in the final opinion.
In a state of law, everyone, including judges and prosecutors, is responsible for their illegal, arbitrary transactions and decisions.
In this room:
-Combining a number of unrelated indictments, a “bag” case has been created; accordingly, trial records exceeding tens of thousands of pages were collected combining peoples and dates that have no relation to one another, on purpose, de facto shattering any possibility for the right of defense,
-Ignoring the will of the legislative organ, there has been a strong leaning towards running counter to their arrangements,
-This can clearly be seen by simply looking at the reasons behind the continued arrests,
-People who have serious health problems and those who have undergone irreparable damage were not released, and this very act goes to show the innate rage and anger present in this case,
-The assessment made by experts, which included the former Chief of the High Court of Appeals Prof. Dr. Sami Selçuk, Prof. Dr. Ergun Özbudun and Prof. Dr. Fatih Selami Mahmutoğlu, regarding my judgment, which they believed should be left to the supreme court, as well as Prof. İzzet Özgenç’s reactions to the accusations held towards me as the “eclipse of reason” have purposefully been ignored,
-Statements made within the court, as well as to the public, to refute the allegations regarding my attempts to annihilate the current government have been systematically ignored,
-Terrorist organization leaders and members who have the blood of thousands of soldiers on their hands, have been listened to as secret witnesses, while the armed forces have been put in a position of suspect,
-The request to have certain high ranking commanders, who held important posts during the time period when the alleged claims took place, to come in as witnesses has been denied, despite the superior verdict of the law,
-There have been relentless efforts to prove that the Turkish armed forces is always attempting to meddle in political affairs by acting like a criminal enterprise and thus why the staff is implicated in criminal activities, by using all the unfavorable events of the past,
-In order to support these claims, they have made use of anonymous statements, secret witness depositions, digital data prepared ‘somewhere’ and telephone conversations which have been procured illegally and later changed,
-When unable to attain such sources, they have not hesitated to read minds, and accuse people based on assumptions and interpretations,
-As the 26th Chief of the General Staff, they have willfully ignored my January 25, 2010 statement that I made with belief and sincerity while on duty:
“Turkey has lived some events since the 1960s. We believe that those events are left behind today. We can see that everyone has learned a lesson from these events. We know that the most important matter in democracy is the election of the government via polls.”
Despite this statement, they have accused me of being a terrorist organization leader while fulfilling Chief of General Staff duty and they alleged the Turkish Armed Forces of being a terror nest and that its purpose was to overthrow the government or to limit its functioning,
-Yet it is with astonishment and sadness that we have noticed that the people who have accused me of this are the ones who have ignored the thousand year traditions of government of the Turks.
All of these happenings have made me realized how right I was in taking the decision to not make a defense on March 27, 2012.
Today, I am in the same position.
My thoughts regarding the final opinion are the same as my thoughts regarding the indictment.
Unfair and unjust accusations made about a Chief of the General Staff and the Turkish Army have been realized and accepted as being directed to our state in terms of politics by any wise people.
Those, who know the real situation to its roots, yet insist not to see nor understand the consequences of the severe situation today at the cost of maintaining balance of their interests; how will they, at least in their conscious, feel tranquil?
Despite all of this, you still want me to make a defense? The biggest punishment for me is to even be here, in front of you, because of a case like this. I have nothing more to say on the matter.
Whatever You Are Going To Do, Do It To Me
I worked hard with all my force, loyal to my oath, which is to make ready the Turkish Army to carry out the duties of protecting the Turkish land and Turkish nation against any threads, as written in the message send on 29 October, 1938, to the Turkish Army by the eternal chief commander Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
I have never regretted that and I will not regret it.
I am with a clear conscience as I have always stood next to right and acted accordingly. History, if not today, will eventually speak of the truth. If history will stay quiet, then eternal truth will speak out.
I will conclude my words by making a final note to history. I see this as my duty.
If the real purpose of the imaginary case entitled “internet andice” is to reach to the Chief of the General Staff, that is to say me, while stepping over any personnel, who worked under my command, from civil servant to General who just happen to have their signature on the legal internet andice document, then release my fellow soldiers, let them go.
Whatever you are going to do, do it to me. I am here. Standing firm.
1 Şamil Tayyar, Star, 28 January, 2008
2 Fatih Altaylı, Habertürk, 17 November, 2009