In the case in which he was expected to be listened as a witness and but is held under custody since January 2012, former Chief of the General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ refused to make a defence before the unauthorized court and against unfounded allegations. Here is that historic speech:
Chief justice and court board;
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.
I am the 26th Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey.
I have spent the last 20 years of my life fighting terror.
During the year that I was the Commander of the Land Forces and Chief of the General Staff, opposite to the way as some people think and claim, I worked hard with all my spiritual and material power to eliminate the terror problem, which has plagued our country. Many people have witnessed these works.
Now, I will feel sorry for those who call me a terror organization executive.
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.
This disorder, how is this going to be explained to the young generations that we will hand over the state administration in future? How will this be marked in the history?
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.
Despite all this, in order to serve specific purposes, now they claiming that, while I was the commander of one of the most powerful armies in the world, I attempted a coup in accordance to directives and requests of an alleged terror organization via internet and the speeches I made.
Those who are accusing me; do not they know that during my commandership not a single website has been opened and that the existing ones were closed by myself?
Those who are accusing me; don’t they know that it is legally incorrect to impute the internet andice in question when it is not carrying any illegal aspect.
Those who are accusing me; do not they know that if I saw any illegal aspect in the internet andice in question, than I would not hesitate to order initiating an investigation?
Those who are accusing me with directing psychological warfare activities in order to create a coup environment; do not they know that during the first days that I took over the Chief of the General Staff duty, I gave the directive of abolishing the Information Support unit that would follow a downsizing process and 2 out of the 4 Information Support Battalions that belong to this department were closed immediately and the whole department was abolished on August 11, 2009?
Those who are accusing me, do not they know that the speeches I made were a necessity of duty and responsibility of my the Chief of the General Staff duty?
What should I have done? Should have stayed quite to wearing out and disrepute of the Turkish Armed Forces personnel on media with unjust impeachments ignoring the presumption of innocence?
These allegations and accusations are unjustified. It could only be a failed comedy to try to charge someone with such an indictment.
For these reasons, I have no respect for this indictment.
If we look as a whole to the case that I am let to face, I believe that, military and civilians, and those who carry responsibility and have conscience will act honestly as expected from them.
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.
As indicated without any doubt by many distinguished and well-respected jurist in Turkey, 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.
This behavior should not be perceived as taking a stance against the court.
This behavior is a necessity and a natural result of the respect that I have for the Constitution the supremacy of law and myself and the responsibility that I carry.
To my Great Nation that I always feel pride and honor of serving;
Today, I do not have any personal worries. My only concern is, as many common sense people states, my beautiful country and beautiful people, for various reasons, is being dragged into a separation and polarization.
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.
Judgement belongs to the Great Turkish Nation.