Legal action on coup cases launched after ‘plot’ claims, Turkish Armed Forces say

Photo: Legal action on coup cases launched after ‘plot’ claims, Turkish Armed Forces say
 / Turkey

Turkey's General Staff has officially confirmed that it has filed a formal demand for an investigation into claims that convictions in recent coup-plot cases were a "conspiracy." Hurriyet Daily News reported

The statement referred implicitly to a political figure's suggestion of a "plot" as the trigger for the decision to launch legal action.

"Accordingly with the necessity of 'being a state of law,' the Turkish Armed Forces has avoided comments that could influence the trials and investigations against some of its members; it shared its thoughts with the competent institutions, made proposals, awaited results and did not engage in any legal action during the process for all these reasons as stated in a press statement on Dec. 27 [2013]," the General Staff said.

"However on the same day, following statements by a political figure in the press, the public has been informed through a written statement and a criminal complaint has been filed at the Ankara Prosecutor's Office," the statement added.

The decision to start legal action came just days after the prime minister's top political adviser, Yalcin Akdogan, spoke of a "plot" in a column Dec. 24, 2013, in daily Star.

Akdogan suggested hundreds of military officers who were convicted of plotting to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been framed by groups within the judiciary who are now allegedly orchestrating a widespread corruption probe against Erdogan's allies.

In its official complaint, the General Staff argued that evidence had been fabricated and manipulated in the coup-plot cases.

"The objective of the criminal complaint is to investigate the criminal complaints put forward and relieve the discomfort caused to public sensitivities, restore trust in justice and protect the rights, dignity and honor of members of the Turkish Armed Forces," the statement said.

The convicted military officers have long claimed that much of the evidence against them was fabricated.

Recent news reports which said the military chief had requested the government's help for a review of the officers' cases prompted some analysts to interpret the ongoing process as a sign of an uneasy alliance forming between Erdogan's government and the military against the Gulen movement.

The statement also said legal action had been launched against Republican People's Party (CHP) Tunceli (Dersim) Deputy Huseyin Aygun who had slammed Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel, asking whether he was "the imam of the Turkish Armed Forces" over Twitter on Jan. 3.

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