Ergenekon Trial Sentences
RIGHTS - Court announces verdicts in Turkey's Ergenekon coup plot trial

An Istanbul court today handed down severe punishments to the suspects in the Ergenekon coup plot trial.

Retired general Veli Küçük was sentenced to aggravated life sentence, while retired colonel Arif Doğan was sentenced to 47 years. Both ex-soldiers were accused of founding and leading a terrorist organization and trying to overthrow the government.

On similar charges, the court sentenced former head of the Higher Education Board of Turkey (YÖK) Kemal Gürüz to 13 years and 11 months, historian Mehmet Perinçek, who is the son of Workers' Party (İP) leader Doğu Perinçek, to six years, and alleged mob leader Sedat Peker was given a 10 year sentence. . Former North Sea Field Commander Mehmet Otuzbiroğlu was sentenced to 20 years and 6 months.

Journalist Erol Manisalı was sentenced to nine years. Author Ergün Poyraz was handed down a 29 years and four months sentence.

Retired general İsmail Hakkı Pekin was sentenced to seven years, journalist Adnan Bulut were sentenced to six years. Adnan Türkkan and Alaaddin Sevim were sentenced to ten years, according to verdict.

21 suspects were released from the Ergenekon coup case as the announcement of the verdict continues at the Silivri Courthouse.

The case was dismissed for three suspects who have lost their lives during the course of the Ergenekon trials.

Before the verdict was announced, Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Mustafa Balbay said the government aimed to “hide away the case from the public.”

“A warm autumn is coming. They want to take over this case. We will not let it happen. This case is political. They want to hide away the case from the public,” Balbay said.

The case, which began in 2007 with the discovery of 27 hand grenades in a house in Istanbul, has seen some of the country’s most prominent figures detained and arrested, including the likes of former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies Mehmet Haberal and Mustafa Balbay and journalists Tuncay Özkan and İlhan Selçuk.

275 suspects, 66 of them under arrest, were awaiting rulings this morning. Some 33 indictments have been submitted in the course of the Ergenekon trials, which saw over 130 witnesses testify at hearings.



Available in sarcastic to
Ergenekon Trial Sentences

Ergenekon Trial Sentences
this case has been a farce from start to end with no transparency the Courts have handed down sentences which the government has much for fairness and justice.
a tragedy for this country.


Ergenekon Trial Sentences
From Norwegian newspapers - an interview with William Nygaard who yesterday represented International PEN in Silivri :

Dommens dag for 275 tyrkere - Aftenposten

[ame=]William Nygaard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

My quick imperfect translation attempt with the help of Google:

It is not difficult to see that this is a misuse of the law, says William Nygaard representing freedom of expression organization PEN International at the trial in Turkey. He supports critics who believe the trial is a farce staged by the government.

Trials against 275 officers, lawyers, journalists and opposition politicians have taken five years.

Critics say the trial is a political act to weaken the opposition. Others believe it is a necessary confrontation with the network as planned coup in Turkey.
Critics say the trial is a political act to weaken the opposition. Others believe it is a necessary confrontation with the network as planned coup in Turkey.

Coup d'état
The first verdicts suggest the long sentences for many of the defendants. The charges vary; the common denominator is that the accused should be part of the Ergenekon network after allegations that should have carried out a series of assassinations and bomb attacks aiming to provoke a military coup.
Around 40 people got their judgment delivered on Monday.

The ruling is a temporary climax of the power struggle between Erdogan's moderate Islamic government and secular - non-religious - forces backed by the military.

- Political case
William Nygaard was among those who had been placed in the makeshift courtroom outside Istanbul. Outside ensured security forces equipped with tear gas to keep protesters at rest.

- The courtroom was big as a sports hall. The over 700 defense lawyers were sitting on both long sides, on my short end there was opposition politicians and a few journalists located. The defendant's family did not get into the court. When the judges stared three hours late, they were met with booing. The audience reacted to the point that this is an independent judicial body, says Nygaard.

He (w.N.) also followed some of the trials ahead of today's judgments.
- This is a political issue. The aim has been to frame the secular critics, says Nygaard.

Imprisoned journalists
Turkey is the country in the world with the most imprisoned journalists. Yesterday journalist Tuncay Özkan who waited a life sentence. The court concluded that his articles were intended to destabilize the Turkish community and facilitate a military coup against the regime of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the Norwegian Union of Journalists is the indictment against Özkan based entirely on unproven claims about what the purpose of his critical journalism was.

So far around 20 of the accused be acquitted. William Nygaard believes a common feature of the acquitted is that they do not pose a major challenge for the government.

- One of the acquitted is a brain surgeon. He has already served several years but was now set free. The most articulate opposition, which could mobilize against the government, is unlikely to gain their freedom, says Nygaard.

Divided Turkey
Basically, there was broad support in public opinion in Turkey for the legal settlement, but the criticism has increased since the trial has run its course. Parts of the secular opposition call it a witch hunt where the aim is in fact to silence government critics. The same opinion is shared bu some activists , and the EU has also expressed concern.

- The Turks are divided. Urban, educated people are becoming more and more critical of Prime Minister Erdogan, while people in the countryside think he is doing a lot right, says Nygaard.

Opposition to the government is strong in influential circles. These circuits consist of persons in the high strata of society that will defend the land fader Kemal Atatürk's non-religious heritage.

- It is extremely important that the official Norway start looking at Turkey with a more critical eye, William Nygaard.


Ergenekon Trial Sentences
Former head of Turkish army is one of 17 jailed for life over 'Deep State' coup plot - Europe - World - The Independent

A Turkish court has issued heavy sentences in a long-running court case involving nearly 300 defendants accused of plotting to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The trial, which began in 2008, has marked a turning point in the battle between Turkey’s previously dominant secularist establishment whose power lay in the military, and the Islamist-leaning government established by the AKP.

Seventeen people, including Ilker Basbug, the former head of the Armed Forces, and Dursan Cicek, a retired navy colonel were given life sentences.

The trial initially involved 86 defendants, but the case eventually grew to include 275, who were tried on what some described as scant or fabricated evidence of involvement in Ergenekon, a “deep state” organisation founded in the Turkish Armed Forces. Ergenekon was accused of links to Turkey’s mafia underworld, involvement in extra-judicial killings, and coup plots against democratically elected governments.

Sixty of the defendants received lighter sentences and 21 were acquitted, including opposition MP Mehmet Haberal.

“A lot of these people deserved to be punished,” said Cengiz Candar, a Turkish political commentator. “They got those penalties, but it is overshadowed by a lot of injustice and the harsh penalties that are contrary to good conscience.”

Turkey’s military carried out coups in 1960, 1971, 1980 and pressured the government to resign in 1997.

Many of the defendants-which include current and retired military officers, journalists, and academics-were accused of planning to create unrest to justify a military intervention against the AKP, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Their plot as described by the court included a plan to assassinate Mr Erdogan, bomb mosques, and kill minority leaders.

Establishing civilian control over the military has been a key part of Turkey’s European Union (EU) accession process.

The sentences were read in a court house in Silivri, a town located on the outskirts of Istanbul. Security forces closed roads for several miles around the courthouse, but demonstrators still attempted to march through the surrounding fields in support of the defendants.

Inside the courthouse, friends and acquaintances called out to the defendants. Family members were not allowed inside to hear the sentencing and waited for news in the field faced by hundreds of riot police.

Fidan Cagdar Balbay, 54, whose brother Mustafa was sentenced to 34 years in prison, said she received news of the trial from a journalist friend inside the court and television. “Our parents are very upset, but they are proud because they know he is innocent of what he is being accused of,” Balbay said, adding she would fight the court’s decision in the European Court of Human Rights.

In June, thousands of people in Turkey turned out for mass anti-government demonstrations against the government’s heavy-handed involvement in the lives of ordinary citizens.

But Cengiz cautioned against conflating the current anti-government sentiment with frustrations regarding the trial.

Despite the controversy over the sentences, Candar stressed that the trial was a necessary step for Turkey to move beyond its violent past. “In this country we had so many assassination and coup attempts,” he said. “And human beings did all these things.”


Kipper restorer
Ergenekon Trial Sentences
Is anyone of the opinion that everyone charged was completely innocent? that all evidence was fabricated, every bit of it and there were no conspiracies to plan to overthrow the Elected govt?.


Ergenekon Trial Sentences
Rob, the smoke screen that has been trown up over the last few years means that no one is really certain about anything.

You are absolutely right, Pete.

Which is why I tend to believe that the truth, as usual, will lie somewhere in the middle.

Being 100% sure of anything in this morass, going right back to the Susurluk car crash, is virtually impossible.


Ergenekon Trial Sentences
I do remember the warning (thinly veiled threat) when it was published on the army web site, so that bit is definitely true.

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