Protecting Turkey’s march toward Sharia and abandonment of Kemalist secularism. “Turkey: Coup Foiled, Gov’t-Armed Forces War Continues,” from ANSAmed, April 6 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – ANKARA – The war is continuing with no holds barred between the ruling party – the pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan – and the armed forces, who on the basis of the Constitution, have always been the protector of the lay status of the country.
With an unexpected sudden reversal, the police yesterday arrested 86 servicemen (70 of whom are still in service) believed to have been involved in the alleged coup d’etat that was to have been carried out in 2003 against the AKP party which had just risen to power. The vast operation, as reports the Turkish media, was carried out simultaneously in 90 houses in 14 provinces of Turkey, from Istanbul to Ankara, and came 48 hours after the release of 28 of the approximate 50 servicemen arrested on February 22 as part of the same investigation. There are several generals amongst the 70 servicemen still in service who were arrested.
Amongst the servicemen who ended up in prison, and who were released in recent days and then immediately put behind bars, is the former general of the army, Cetin Dogan, believed to be the brains behind the coup (called ‘Balyoz’, sledgehammer) reported in January by pro-government daily paper Taraf but which was never set in motion. The charges against them range from attempted massacre to the attempted coup d’etat. The aim of ‘Balyoz’, according to Taraf, was to plunge the country into chaos with acts of violence and terrorism.
Amongst other things, the plan was for the servicemen to blow up mosques in Istanbul during Friday prayers, to attack museums with bombs, to shoot down a Turkish fighter plane and to blame the Greek air force, and to force the executive, by then discredited, to resign. According to press sources, the people arrested yesterday are considered in various ways to have been involved both in the plotting of ‘Balyoz’ and in the wider conspiracy of Ergenekon, an alleged secret nationalist organisation which is said to have attempted to topple Erdogan’s government.
The investigation into Ergenekon began in 2007 after explosives and detonators were found in an apartment in Istanbul which brought about the arrest of some 100 people from ultra-nationalist spheres in various parts of the country. Investigators maintain that that roundup revealed a secret body called ”deep state”, which was a secret pact between politicians, ex-servicemen, secret services and local mafia. All the people accused in the Ergenekon case are facing 30 charges with the three most serious being the organisation of a terrorist group, incitement to revolt and attempting to topple the government. The accused include retired generals but also other high-ranking officers still in service, magistrates, nationalist politicians, far-right sympathisers, people from show business, writers and journalists. However, lay people and nationalists believe that the case against the alleged Ergenekon group is nothing more than an AKP ploy to get rid of its most stubborn opponents. (ANSAmed).