World Bulletin / News Desk
Former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök testified on Thursday as a witness in the ongoing Ergenekon trial and acknowledged that former force commanders had brought up the idea of issuing a memorandum against the government during a military meeting in 2003, but added that it was not an “official” suggestion.
After the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court, which is hearing the Ergenekon case, announced last week that Özkök would be testifying, the former military chief arrived at the Silivri Prison Complex early on Thursday to attend the 213th hearing of the trial. During his testimony, Özkök confirmed that force commanders of the time had mentioned issuing a memorandum against the government during a brainstorming session at a military meeting, but added that this was “not an official proposal.”
Özkök, who retired in 2006 and settled in the western province of İzmir to lead a life outside of the public eye, frequently makes national headlines due to the coup plans allegedly devised during his term as chief of General Staff.
There have been claims that a planned military coup would have been staged in 2003 if then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Özkök had supported it. Özkök was also allegedly the target of a planned assassination due to his opposition to a military coup.
The force commanders of the time were former Land Forces Commander Gen. Aytaç Yalman, former Air Forces Commander Gen. İbrahim Fırtına and former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek, all of whom retired in 2004.
The three men are currently accused of having devised coup plans nicknamed Moonlight, Blonde Girl and the Glove, all mentioned in a journal detailing plans against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) allegedly kept by Örnek.
Thursday’s papers cover claims that Turkey’s ruling AK Party will hold an extraordinary congress
Rumours have been rife with the imminent departure of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Rockets fired from Syria have hit buildings in Kilis
Rocket fire on Kilis province will not be left unanswered, says President Erdogan
UN Population Fund Turkey Representative Kulessa says country is working hard to shelter some 3 million refugees
'We are ready to take all measures that we need, both inside Turkey and outside, to provide for our own security,' PM Davutoglu says
Turkey believes Bosnia can be a major production base, for the European market, and for Chinese investment, says deputy PM
Ahmet Davutoglu says terror group failed to honor committments during 'solution process'
ISIL has launched two more devices at Kilis on Wednesday, prompting artillery fire from Turkish forces
Domestic papers cover major anti-fraud operation which saw over 100 people – including pharmacists, medics and nurses – held
More than 30 journalists call for release of colleagues detained by Egyptian police
A new Turkish Airlines air route will have flights will run three times a week
Latest bombardment marks almost a week of indiscriminate attacks on border city
In response to ISIL rocket attacks on Kilis, southern Turkey, Turkish forces target armed group in northern Syria
With its forecasted 3.5 percent performance, Turkey estimated to grow more than most EU countries
A total of 820 suspects have been detained in nationwide operations