Feb. 28 coup victims angry at new blacklisting

Millions of people who were blacklisted by a military center set up to manipulate politics ahead of a 1997 "post-modern coup" have voiced anger at a similar institution reported to exist within the gendarmerie, reports yesterday said.

Feb. 28 coup victims angry at new blacklisting
Millions of people who were blacklisted by a military center set up to manipulate politics ahead of a 1997 "post-modern coup" have voiced anger at a similar institution reported to exist within the gendarmerie, reports yesterday said.

The Taraf daily over the weekend published documents showing the existence of a military unit established outside the law by a former general to influence the political and social atmosphere in Turkey.

The report said the new unit, called the Republican Study Group (CÇG), is an organization is similar to the Western Study Group (BÇG), which was known to be active in most of the events that led up to the unarmed military intervention of Feb. 28, 1997 that overthrew the government. The daily noted that its source is an individual in the military who provided a CD on which information about the CÇG was stored in slide shows and text documents.

The CÇG, according to information on the CD, has no legal standing and is not shown as being a part of the official organizational structure of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

Gültekin Avcı, a former chief republican prosecutor, said in the period that led up to the Feb. 28 era, nearly 6 million people were blacklisted by the BÇG. "If you did this in Europe, it would cost you your life," the former prosecutor said, adding that the military bureaucracy was oppressing people in order to maintain its grip on power. Claiming that these units prepared reports on people, Avcı stated: "This type of incident [blacklisting] occurs outside of the control of the Prime Ministry and the Presidency and is the lifeblood of the military bureaucracy. They do this to ensure that their values dominate. They sometimes make these lists to put pressure on people."

The prosecutor said a mentality similar to that of the military bureaucracy dominated the high judiciary. "The military is trying to keep people under control to be able to dominate politics. During the Feb. 28 process, a prosecutor or a local bureaucrat would fear even a corporal from the army intelligence unit." Avcı suggests that the archived documents of the military's Special Forces Command as well as the Intelligence Administration Department of the General Staff should be investigated and tracked by the political power, similar to an operation that was carried out in Italy.

Former military judge Yusuf Çağlayan, dismissed from the military by a decision of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ), which convenes twice a year, says he was dismissed on the basis of a BÇG report. Saying that he was sacked because of "poor discipline' according to the YAŞ report, Çağlayan said, "As a person who received a letter of commendation every year of his 15 years in the profession, I was deeply saddened by this." Çağlayan said formations such as the BÇG were extremely damaging to the military. "Blacklisting erodes the lines of military hierarchy. A soldier who is part of such a formation can patronize a higher-ranking officer and act in contravention to their hierarchical standing."

He also said he wasn't a bit surprised by the existence of the CÇG, noting that such formations always remain in place under different names.


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Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Haziran 2008, 07:49
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