Turkey's ex-army chief 'warned' Erdogan about Gulenists

Turkey’s former Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug was recently quoted by Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan as having told him that those who “hit the army now, will one day hit the government.”

Turkey's ex-army chief 'warned' Erdogan about Gulenists

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s former Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug has said that he warned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the so called 'parallel state' run by US-based congregation leader Fethullah Gulen.

Speaking to Turkey's daily Hurriyet, Basbug said, “We investigated the issue after the arrests of and probes against the members of the Turkish Armed Forces at the time. We compiled the information provided by various institutions and presented it to Prime Minister.”

“He took the file, listened to us and told us that he will ‘inspect and evaluate’ it. However, during my tenure as commander, nothing happened,” he added.

The ex-military general, who was recently released from prison 26 months into his life sentence after the constitutional court found that his rights had been breached while he was being investigated for his connection with a coup plot, was quoted by Erdogan recently as having told him that those who “hit the army now, will one day hit the government.”

“I have mixed feelings now as I’m watching those who conducted those operations against us. But we have no feelings of revenge or hate. We just want justice,” Basbug said, adding that those being arrested in the nation-wide operations against those linked to the 'parallel state' should be tried justly.

79 police officers linked the the 'parallel state' on Friday were suspended from duty after getting caught up in an ongoing investigation over illegal wiretapping of government officials.

They join 35 police officers who were already suspended, including senior officers such as Yurt Atagun, the former head of the Istanbul police's anti-terror department, Ali Fuat Yilmazer, the former Istanbul Police Department Intelligence Bureau Chief, and Ali Ihsan Kaya, the former director of intelligence. Police chief Gaffur Atac, who had once escorted Basbug to prison, was also among the detained officers.

Overall, 116 police officers have been detained since operations began in July.


Prime Minister Erdogan has led a purge on the police force since operations on December 17 targeting his allies raised the alarms of corruption and bribery within his AK Party-led government.

A separate operation which saw Turkish security forces raid a truck owned by the Turkish intelligence agency MIT while on its way to Syria in Turkey's Adana also increased accusations against the Gulen-led Hizmet Movement.

In April, a top secret meeting between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, MIT chief Hakan Fidan and the army's second-in-demand was leaked on to the internet, prompting a temporary ban on video-sharing website Youtube.

Another scandal was exposed when it was revealed that hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens had had their telephones tapped illegally.

The scandal was taken to new lengths when listening devices were found hidden in plugs in the Prime Minister's office.

Erdogan has indicated that Turkey may request Gulen's deportation from the US to Turkey to face questioning regarding allegations of his role in leading a spy ring which has not only infiltrated the police force, but also the judiciary and the government itself.

Fethullah Gulen went into self-imposed exile in 1999 in the US, fleeing Turkey with a forged green passport only designated to citizens with diplomat status. The government cancelled Gulen's passport earlier this year.

A former ally of Erdogan's AK Party, Gulen's movement and the government fell at odds originally over the sending of the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza in 2010.

In 2012, the gap between the two widened when prosecutors known to be loyal to the movement attemped to put MIT chief Hakan Fidan on trial.

In late 2013, Erdogan announced plans to close down prep schools if they cannot transform themselves into private schools. The movement, which gains a bulk of its income from these schools, claimed that they would not be able to make the transformation in time.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Ağustos 2014, 13:06