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.
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Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu postponed a trip to France and left for Qatar in an effort to reach ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.
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A major operation in Istanbul and other cities saw 104 police officers and chiefs detained and 22 of them sent to the court.
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