Gul meets ex-General amid Ergenekon tensions

President Gül has had a number of meetings with civil society groups and political party leaders in the hopes of putting a stop to increasing polarization.

Gul meets ex-General amid Ergenekon tensions
Turkish President Abdullah Gul met former Chief of General Staff retired general Hilmi Ozkok over lunch at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Thursday.

Replying to questions of reporters after the meeting, Ozkok said Gul and he discussed general situation in Turkey during the meeting.

The meeting also focused on Turkey's EU accession process, he said. "I told President Gul that activities in regard to the process have slowed down. I also said I believed that the EU process benefited Turkey," Ozkok said.

"I am not a wise man --scientist or academician. I only conveyed my views to President Gul," he said.

Ozkok said they also touched on the Ergenekon probe, but they did not discuss the matter in detail.

President Gül has had a number of meetings with civil society groups and political party leaders in the hopes of putting a stop to increasing polarization.

In an interview with Fikret Bila, Ankara bureau chief of the Milliyet newspaper, Özkök said he could neither confirm nor confute that senior army generals plotted three coup attempts codenamed Sarıkız (blonde girl), Ayışığı (moonlight) and Eldiven (glove). "I can neither say there were or weren't coup plans. In other words, I can neither confirm nor deny them. This is all I can say," he told the daily. An investigation into Ergenekon -- a neo-nationalist organization with former senior army generals, journalists and businessmen among its members that sought to stage a coup against the governing AK Party government -- has revealed that Turkey escaped three potential coups d'état in 2004.

Asked what he thinks about a diary detailing failed coup plans against the government that allegedly belonged to retired Adm. Özden Örnek, Özkök recalled that Örnek had insisted that the diary doesn't belong to him.

Agencies
Last Mod: 11 Temmuz 2008, 08:59
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