Senior officers believe there is a link with the current law awaiting the president’s signature and the plan to besmirch the military. The law, if approved by President Abdullah Gül, will allow military personnel to be tried in civilian courts in peacetime.
The military has already sent its objections to the law to the president, saying that it was unconstitutional, could lead to conflicts among military and civilian judicial authorities, would adversely affect the military chain of command, and allows politics to enter the barracks. Officers believe false accusations might be manufactured to get at colleagues with opposing political views or for personal revenge. They also say the legislation would distract personnel from performing their assigned duties.
Officers believe that the plan, allegedly signed by Navy Col. Dursun Çiçek, is linked to an asymmetric attempt to damage the military’s reputation, as mentioned by Chief of Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ at a press conference on June 26.
Top-level military sources believe that military prosecutors from the beginning sought information and documents from the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office and other state institutions to initiate proceedings against Çiçek but nothing was forthcoming. Officers believe military prosecutors will not proceed any further on Çiçek’s case because they believe the document he is alleged to have signed was not drawn up at military command but was prepared by civilians and therefore is not part of their jurisdiction but is something civilian prosecutors need to prove. Çiçek was not questioned by the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office for the signature on the document, officers say, but rather for possible connections to the alleged Ergenekon gang, which is accused of seeking to topple the government by creating unrest in the country.