Karar TSK’yı Terör Örgütü İlan Etti

The court’s decision not to allow the relatives of the suspects inside the courthouse on the day of announcing verdict increased the tension in the country.

The court’s decision was mistaken in terms of its methods. Verdict should be declared in an open trial and announced to the public with its justifications.

The courtroom was filled with deputies, press members and lawyers. Security measures were abnormally strict…

The lawyers climbed on the bench to see the suspects. Some of the suspects could not hear their sentences and had to ask the court to repeat it.

Were we being tried in our own country or in an enemy country? Or was the court seeing us as an enemy? What was the court expecting the suspects to do?

When the release of suspect Osman Yıldırım, who was involved in several attacks, including the fatal State of Council shooting, was read, I thought that it would be an insult to my personality to stay in that room and I stood and walked off the room while applauding the decision.

High security measures, disorganization and inhuman conditions during the trial were unfit for the 21st Century Turkey.

Up to now, I have tried to depict you that day.

Let’s now talk about the verdict.

Recently, Professor Sami Selçuk and Professor İzzet Özgenç’s have said that the chief of General Staff was accountable to the prime minister and ruled out any terror accusations against the chief of General Staff.

The chief of General Staff is appointed by the president upon the Cabinet’s suggestion. The public wonders about the opinions of the Cabinet members, who proposed the appointment of the 26th chief of General Staff and who worked with him, as well as Mr. President, who approved this proposal and worked with the chief of General Staff, over the remarks of these two respected legal experts.

Some of those at the Turkish General Staff headquarters have been convicted for being the managers of a terror organization and others have terror organization member status. The Turkish Armed Forces’ supreme headquarters is a terror organization’s headquarters according to the verdict. The Turkish Armed Forces’ commander is the manager of a terror organization.

Let’s stop here, take a breath and ask justifiably these questions: Mr. Prime Minister said on Habertürk channel on Feb. 1, 2013 that “Yes, it’s is a serious and unforgivable mistake to call active and retired generals members of a terror organization. If they see their status as safe now, history will not forgive them. The Turkish Armed Forces is an organization but not a terror organization. It’s a constitutional organization.”

However, in a decision given around six months after this speech, the 13th High Criminal Court announced that some of the high-level officials at the General Staff headquarters are ‘members of a terror organization’ and some of them, including the chief of staff, are ‘managers of a terror organization.’

What will be thought and written about those holding the majority in Parliament failing to make the necessary amendments to prevent the historic mistake of the court and not making these amendments in the future?

It should not be forgotten that chief of General Staff is the commander of the Turkish Armed Forces. He has to protect this institution against unfair, groundless and harsh attacks. Today will the commander, who holds the position of chief of General Staff, keep his silence on this issue, to which Mr. Prime Minister already reacted to and rejected?

Ret. Gen. M. İlker Başbuğ

Translation: Hürriyet Daily News