ANKARA - The Turkish military adopted a higher tone yesterday to convey its concern over the controversies surrounding the Ergenekon case. Ergenekon informer Tuncay Güney’s appearance on state television and his naming of many top ranking former generals, such as retired Gen. Hakkı Karadayı as Ergenekon accomplices, prompted the military to issue a warning against the violation of the Constitution yesterday.
"Basic legal principles, such as the right to a fair trial, basic human rights and the presumption of innocence, enshrined in Article 38 of the Constitution, are being violated," said the general. "The precarious situation created by people who are expected to be more responsible damages institutions, the judiciary and the state," Gürak said.
Meanwhile, President Abdullah Gül said the Ergenekon investigation was under the control of an independent judiciary. "Everyone must refrain from putting pressure on the judiciary," he said. Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan similarly requested faith in the judiciary, "The juridical process has only begun and will be followed by a period in the Supreme Court of Appeals. We need to wait in patience and see what happens," he said yesterday.
İsmail Hakkı Karadayı rejects ’insane uttering’
Retired Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı, who was the chief of staff between 1994 and 1998, repudiated Güney’s claims that he was one of the core members of Ergenekon gang. "These allegations are but nonsense," Karadayı said, in an interview with daily Milliyet published Thursday. "When I listened to the guy, my first impression was that it was an insane person from an asylum speaking," Karadayı said.
"I do not know people who are listed as members of the Ergenekon organization. I have never seen or spoken with them. Our retired general friends, who honorably served this country, have no relations with these people. They try to wear down the military," he added.
Karadayı also said he did not know Veli Küçük, a retired general under arrest and on trial, who is suspected of being a leader of the Ergenekon gang.
In response to claims that Ergenekon is related to the Feb. 28 process that started with a National Security Council, or MGK, decision in 1997 to root out radical Islamists nested in state institutions, Karadayı said every act concerning the period was legal.
Karadayı said claims linking Ergenekon to the Feb. 28 process may be related to Operation Steel, the military's massive cross-border operation into northern Iraq in 1995, and the Kardak operation during the Kardak islets crisis with Greece the following year. "Allegations may have resulted as we completed those operations successfully. However, we carried out our task, I do not regret anything I did," he added.
Karadayı denied that an informal consultative mechanism, which he was also a part of, had any relation to the Ergenekon case. He said the Encümen-i Daniş has been in existence since 1850 and all top rankingofficials attend these meetings.