21 Nisan 2016 Perşembe



If you have visited this blog only once, read through just a part of  any of the 94 articles I wrote since May 3rd 2012, you will appreciate the tremendous importance of this news:

The Appeals Court (Yargıtay) has overturned the Ergenekon allegations, declared them to be unfounded, and thereby ended a terrible chapter in our history.

Too bad many once powerful figures in the judiciary have flown the coop, like the state prosecutor Zekeriya Öz who gently slipped through the border chekpoints on August 11th 2015.

And today's president Tayyip Erdoğan, prime minister at the time, manages to remain aloof and untouched by the scandalous abuse of justice in which he and his party had been actively involved.

No belated justice can remedy the careers that have been ruined, the lives that have been lost, not to mention the damage to the nation and the Republic caused by this  malicious operation- an operation much greater than Erdoğan and his party and their one-time partners, now rivals, the Gülen organization (strangely unmentioned in the BBC article).

For now, I will do no more than simply share the BBC version of this momentous news. You can check out the original from the following link:

 Protesters outside the Silivri prison compound, April 8th 2013,
in support of the Ergenekon defendants.
(Image from my own camera.) 
For my account of that day see: "Provocation: Silivri", 8 April-Nisan 2013.
Turkey Ergenekon: Court quashes 'coup plot' convictions

Turkey's highest appeals court has overturned the convictions of 275 people, including senior military officers, accused of plotting a coup.
The appeals court ruled that the convictions were unsafe because the existence of a clandestine network called Ergenekon was unproven.
 The officers, journalists, lawyers and academics were found guilty in 2013 of plotting the overthrow of then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Erdoğan)
The new ruling may lead to a retrial. 
The Ergenekon case was one of the biggest in recent Turkish history, pitting Mr Erdogan's supporters in the Islamist-rooted AK Party against the secularist military establishment. 
The trials took place amid high security at Silivri, outside Istanbul, and police repeatedly used tear gas and water cannon to keep protesters at a distance. 
The highest-ranking defendant was ex-military chief Ilker Basbug (Ret. Full-General İlker Başbuğ, ex-Chief-of-Staff), who was given a life sentence. Sixteen other life sentences were also handed down, with long jail terms for others.(See "Ergenekon Trials and Tribulations", 30 August-Ağustos 2013),
Pressure on military 
The appeals court found several other flaws in the original proceedings, including illegal surveillance and searches. 
Mr Basbug walked free in March 2014, (See "Melting the Mountain of Iron", 4 November-Kasım 2014) after Turkey's constitutional court overturned his sentence, citing a legal technicality. He was in charge of the Turkish military from 2008 to 2010.

The Ergenekon network was accused of plotting a coup against Mr Erdogan - now Turkey's president - in 2003-2004. 
The trials were based on suspicions of a shadowy "deep state" conspiring to cause social unrest which would then provoke a military coup. 
Mr Erdogan's critics saw the investigation as an attempt to curb the influence of the powerful military, which for decades saw itself as the final arbiter in Turkish politics. Since coming to power in 2002, Mr Erdogan has asserted civilian supremacy over the military. 
Between 1960 and 1997, the armed forces removed four civilian governments. The Welfare Party (Refah Partisi, RP) ousted in 1997 was a predecessor of Mr Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi). 
Hundreds of military officers were arrested in a five-year investigation before the Ergenekon verdict. Some of them were prosecuted in a separate case called "Sledgehammer". (See: "Balyoz- The Sledgehammer", 6 September-Eylül 2012, "Sledgehammer Verdicts", 22 September-Eylül 2012.)

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