26th Chief of the General Staff of Turkey
Gen. (Ret.) M. İlker Başbuğ
(1943 – )
Gen. İlker Başbuğ commanded the Turkish Armed Forces from August 30, 2008 until August 27, 2010 as the 26th Chief of the General Staff.
Besides the Turkish Armed Forces Medal of Distinguished Courage and Self-Sacrifice given to Başbuğ due to his service in southeast during 1993-1995, he owns Turkish Armed Forces Medal of Distinguished Service and Turkish Armed Forces Medal of Honor.
Başbuğ was promoted to the rank of General in 2002. As General, he held a variety of positions such as the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Land Forces, the Deputy Chief of the Turkish General Staff, the Commandant of the Turkish 1st Army, the Commander of the Turkish Land Forces.
He was appointed as Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces on August 30, 2008 and served until August 27, 2010.
After retirement, Başbuğ started writing books. He is the author of books titled: “The End of Terrorist Organizations”, “The Greatest Leader of the 20th Century: Mustafa Kemal”, “The Greatest Leader of the 20th Century: Ataturk”, “Truths Against Accusations”, “What Kind of Turkey”, “Armenian Accusations and the Truths”, “Forgotten Island Cyprus”, “Before and After 15th of July”, “Facing Issues”, “The Struggle of Power Groups I: From Ottoman to Republic”, “Ergenekon Exit”, “The Struggle of Power Groups II: 1923-1961” and “The Struggle of Power Groups III: 1961-1980”.
Başbuğ is being invited to give speech by universities and associations from all parts of Turkey. These speeches, where topics such as Atatürk, leadership, Middle East, foriegn policts are covered, attract huge interest from young people.
Başbuğ is among the top most trusted people in Turkey according to a surveys conducted in 2017 and 2018. (Gezici Research Center)
Almost 2 years after retirement, on January 6, 2012, upon a Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) directive, Başbuğ was arrested on “terrorist organization leader” charges after a short investigation.
During trial, Başbuğ refused to make defense and answer questions. On August 5, 2013, FETO court sentenced Başbuğ to life imprisonment on charges of “establishing and leading a terrorist organization” and “attempting to destroy the Turkish government or to attempting to partially or completely prevent its functioning”.
On March 7, 2014, Başbuğ got released from prison after the Constitutional Court ruled that his legal rights had been violated. This marked the end of his 2 year and 2 month long detention in Silivri prison.
On May 3, 2016, The Supreme Court of Appeals overturned all of the local court’s verdicts and convinctions. The court also determined that Başbuğ’s situation should be handled by the Supreme Council.
On October 10, 2017, Constitutional Court deciced to ask Prime Ministry’s permission for hearing Başbuğ.
On July 11, 2019, President rejected Constitutional Court’s permission for hearing Başbuğ. This remarks the end of seven year long conspiracy process.