'Turkey escaped two coups in 2004'

The weekly magazine 'Nokta' has revealed former Turkish Navy Forces Commander retired Admiral Ozden Ornek's diary. In Admiral's diary, Turkey escaped two coups in 2004 against AKP.

'Turkey escaped two coups in 2004'

The weeklymagazine 'Nokta' has revealed former Turkish Navy Forces Commander retiredAdmiral Ozden Ornek's diary. According to Admiral's diary, Turkey escapedtwo coups in 2004 against the ruling party, AKP.

Deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) describedallegations of a coup plan in 2004 as anachronistic, while former Navy ForcesCommander retired Admiral Özden Örnek denies that a controversial diary belongsto him as it reveals, among other things, two planned military coups in 2004.

AK Party deputies, as well as those allegedly involved in two separate andfailed Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) coup plots in 2004, have reacted to thesensational coup revelations published in a magazine this week and reportedlybased on the diary of a leading military commander. Justice Minister CemilÇiçek told reporters that anti-democratic concepts such as coups werecounterproductive at a time when Turkey was making important stepstoward democracy. He came short of further elaboration, stating he has not yetseen any reports confirming the allegations.

Çicek's reaction was a response to a report by political magazine Nokta inits March 29-April 4 issue in which it quoted what it alleged to be the diaryof former Adm. Örnek. Örnek wrote that the top commanders of the TSK were goingto stage two separate coups to overthrow the ruling AK Party, which came topower in November 2002 elections with an overwhelming majority, despiteopposition from the then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök.

The magazine was quoting excerpts from thousands of pages of the former NavyForces commander's diary. Admiral Örnek, who served as navy commander betweenAugust 2003 and August 2005, portrays himself as one of the masterminds of thefailed coups. He also heavily criticized the TSK for its attempts to rule thenation and for distancing itself from civilians. According to this diary, Gen.Özkök deferred too much to the AK Party, prompting the impression that he waspro-AK Party, i.e. pro-Islamist. The Turkish military has staged four militarycoups in the 84 years of the republic's history.

"At one point, we [top commanders including Örnek, Land ForcesCommander Aytaç Yalman, Air Force Commander Ýbrahim Fýrtýna, GendarmerieCommander Þener Eruygur and Aegean Army Commander Hurþit Tolun] were going toeither quit our posts in protest of Özkök or he [Özkök] should have gone andthen we should have gone ahead with a coup despite Özkök's resistance.

The course of the country was very bad and someone should have stoppedthis. Otherwise we [Turkey]could have almost turned into Iran,"Örnek was quoted as saying in his diary. Özkök did not believe that the AKParty had intended to set up a Shariah state, Örnek also said in the diary.

Former Navy Commander Örnek, meanwhile, denied the existence of such adiary, let alone that it belonged to him. Speaking to CNNTürk, Örnek statedthat he never had a diary during his tenure as the navy commander. The storiesin this regard were made up, Örnek said.

According to Nokta, the alleged diaries belonging to retired Gen. Örnekcover the periods of the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004.

Columnist Nazlý Ilýcak said that there has always been a junta."At that time, from the speeches given by certain commanders, from theirattitude and from certain information, we got the impression that there weresuch preparations. In my opinion, it is highly likely that Chief of GeneralStaff Özkök blocked such attempts, as he was known as a pro-legitimacycommander. Why should we be amazed by this information? There have always beenjuntas within the Turkish army. Some of them were disclosed while some of themremained secret. But there is always a junta. For this reason, nobody should betaken aback with this information. We know that some journalists scorned Özkökand even wrote articles insulting him," she said.

AK Party Gaziantep Deputy Nurettin Aktaþ said it was a constitutionaloffense to conduct a military coup. "All prosecutors should do their dutyby launching probes concerning the commanders whose names are mentioned inconnection with the attempted coup. If the military assumes such an attitudeagainst every government they dislike, there is no democracy in this country.It is high time we remove the concept of military coups from Turkishliterature. Otherwise, Turkeycannot attain any progress," he said.

Current Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaþar Büyükanýt was also quoted inÖrnek's diary as the First Army Commander in Ýstanbul with whom the TSK had twooptions: "Either they will keep quiet against the current government or wewill use the stick [force] to make the government bow before us."

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16