Date posted: December 30, 2015
Main opposition Republican People’s Democratic Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş has said the release of suspects in the historic Ergenekon trial and the government-initiated operations against the Hizmet movement were part of an agreement between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish military.
In March of last year, almost all of the suspects in the trial of the Ergenekon gang were released due to a newly passed law that abolished specially authorized courts (ÖYM), where the suspects were tried, and reduced the maximum period of detention before a final verdict on an appeal to five years.
The trial of Ergenekon, a clandestine and terrorist group convicted of attempting to overthrow the government, took a new course on Dec. 6, 2010, when nine sacks of documents were found hidden under floor tiles at the Gölcük Naval Base, detailing an alleged plot to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Speaking to Halk TV on Monday, Yarkadaş also referred to a corruption operation that was planned to take place on Dec. 25, 2013, and implicated the AK Party government and inner circle of President Erdoğan, saying: “The police force did not send units to conduct the operation on Dec. 25. As you know, when the police do not execute an operation, the prosecutor can ask for help from the military. The military made an agreement with Erdoğan by not sending units to perform the operation. Erdoğan decided to change his Kurdish policies in return for support from the military and the closure of the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 corruption investigations. Their relations start from this point.”
Various figures close to the AK Party were detained during a corruption investigation on Dec. 17, 2013. Muammer Akkaş, a former public prosecutor, was conducting another corruption investigation. The prosecutor ordered the detention of more AK Party officials or members on Dec. 25, 2013, but the police refused to act on the orders of Akkaş.
Since those corruption operations, the AK Party government has launched a smear campaign against the Hizmet movement, inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Dozens of government-initiated operations have been conducted to intimidate the followers of the movement since early 2014.
The government and Erdoğan accuse the movement of being behind the corruption operations without showing any concrete evidence for their accusations. The movement strictly denies the allegations.
On March 11, 2014, the İstanbul 21st High Criminal Court ruled for the release of Ergenekon suspects retired Gen. Hurşit Tolon, former Deputy Chairman of the Kuvayi Milliye (National Forces) Association Durmuş Ali Özoğlu and Boğaç Kaan Murathan. This was followed by the release of Lt. Col. Mustafa Dönmez, retired Lt. Gen. Mehmet Eröz, retired Gen. Tuncer Kılıç, retired Gen. Nusret Taşdeler, and the former editor-in-chief of the ultranationalist Aydınlık weekly, Deniz Yıldırım — all Ergenekon suspects. In June of last year, the court ruled to release the prime suspect, retired Brig. Gen. Veli Küçük. Along with Küçük, suspects Levent Ersöz, Serdar Öztürk and Fuat Selvi were also released.
Source: Today's Zaman , December 28, 2015