Islamist Turkish government jails opponents for life.


"Prosecutors demanded life prison terms for 64 of the defendants, mostly on terrorism charges. Others were charged with possession of firearms or merely membership in Ergenekon.
Mehmet Haberal, a surgeon and founder of a university in Ankara, and Mustafa Balbay, the Ankara representative of pro-secular Cumhuriyet newspaper, both faced life prison terms but received sentences of 12 years and 34 years, respectively. The two men were elected to Parliament in 2011 while in prison but were not able to take their seats.
Tuncay Ozkan, a prominent journalist who helped organize a series of anti-government protests in 2007, was given a life sentence.
The case has polarized the country between those who see it as an opportunity to unravel a shadowy network of ultranationalists known as the "Deep State" that allegedly acted behind the scenes with impunity, and those who believe it is a government attempt to muzzle Erdogan's secular-minded foes and undermine Turkey's secular legacy.
"  Fox News


This the true face of political Islamism playing out a "game plan" that awaited Egypt if the people and army had not acted in their own defense. 


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26 Responses to Islamist Turkish government jails opponents for life.

  1. Matthew says:

    Col: As an outsider, it is hard to evaluate whether the Ergenekon conspiracy is real. Doesn’t that make a huge difference?

  2. turcopolier says:

    Not to me. I don’t want to see political Islamists rule the ME. Cultural survival is more important than elections. pl

  3. Herb says:

    “Original write up from Cengiz Kara…
    Shared by copy paste…
    My dear non-Turkish friends,
    Today, on August 5th, 2013; Turkey witnessed one of the darkest moments in its history and I feel obliged to share this with you.
    5 years ago, a case against some of the intellectuals, journalists, professors and members of the Turkish Armed Forces was initiated by the ruling party’s puppets within the judiciary system. This case’s target was the people who might have been involved in a coup d’état to overthrow the democratically elected Islamist government.
    Granted; initially people with this aspiration and even plans were involved in the case; it quickly became a witch hunt for all the free-thinking and somewhat powerful figures from all fractions who were against the Islamist government lead by a man who once claimed that democracy was only a vehicle for them to reach their target; a Sharia-run state. Due to the short memory of our people and maybe due to ignorance or fear from the government, people failed to see that it was utterly impossible for all these men & women to get together for such a detailed and complex goal as coup d’etat. The reasoning was that the fractions that these people belonged; socialists, Communists, liberals, soldiers, and clandestine officers made it impossible for them to get together. The only common thing these people have is that they are free and secular Kemalists (in their own way) who are against this authoritarian and Islamist government.
    Over the 5 years; some of the “suspects” have died of various illnesses and grief. There have never been any substantial evidence against them and science has proved that some of the so-called evidence were manufactured by the prosecution.
    However; after 5 years of struggle and mental torture, none of this mattered. Today, the so-called Turkish Justice system punished these people; who include a former Chief-of-Staff of Turkish Military (life sentence), a few opposition party MPs; a brilliant professor and Secular journalist and many other officers, journalists, intellectuals with very harsh prison sentences.
    What makes this tragedy a comedy is that the same person who has been accused of throwing a bomb to the “Republic” newspaper headquarters is also prosecuted in the same case together with a journalist from the same newspaper!! While the murdered of thousands of people, the convict leader of PKK is being treated like a freedom-fighter, the generals whom spent all their lives to honor the uniform and the flag and to protect Turkey are being treated as terrorists.
    In addition, while the Turkish authorities were very careful to make sure that the thousands of people en-route to the prison to protest the process were searched, they were not able to have the same integrity on our Syrian border which resulted in a bombing earlier this year resulting in the death of 50+ Turkish citizens.
    For those of you who know their history; you can compare the process to the McCarthy era to get a better idea.
    This is what my country has come to in its 90th year as a Republic. There have been many people and governments both domestically and internationally who applauded when these people came to power in 2002 due to the sake of democracy. When we raised our voice we were ousted as elitist, paranoid and back-minded statu-quo lovers. Now, they show their true face because there is nothing between them and full-authority.
    One last thing about people like myself; we are neither militarist nor coup d’état supporters. We just want freedom, democracy and Secular system to be protected and are against a twisted Justice system which punishes free-thinking Seculars because the “Sultan” wishes it while rapists, corrupt business-men & politicians walk free.
    2013 has been a painful year for Turkey as most of you have read in the press, especially since early June with the Gezi Park protests.
    I know I wrote way too long, but I hope you can make the few minutes to digest all that is going on in my beloved country.

  4. Charles says:


  5. Pan says:

    Is the Turkish Army going to take this lying down? Does Erdogan have his people in place in the military leadership?

  6. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    In the latest promotions to flag rank in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) there were quite a few non-traditional appointments designed to bolster support for the erdogan regime. The changes are not enough. Yet. At this point I do not think TSK will initiate anything. However, if another Gezi-like protest starts and grows, life may become interesting for all in the next two-three years, especially for the ruling islamists.
    We live in interesting times.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  7. Kunuri says:

    If you beat up a vicious dog on chain long enough, someday it will bite you.
    You can hunt bear, but sometime the bear may get you.
    When you strike at a King, you must kill him.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis.
    I know, sounds cryptic, but AKP government now irreversibly revealed its true colors, I have no doubt phone calls were placed to the judges and prosecutors of the trial, even more urgently especially after the Egyptian coup.
    The result of these sham prosecutions will be: Public conscious and trust in justice is damaged beyond repair and in no way the Turkish Army is deterred from its primary responsibility of protecting Ataturk’s republic. Sure the first rank is decimated but the second rank will step in and take the standards and watch their flanks a little more carefully.

  8. Alba Etie says:

    Ishmael Zechariah
    Thanks for keeping posting here, always glad to hear from you .
    You all stay safe and be well over yonder ..

  9. turcopolier says:

    “…in no way the Turkish Army is deterred from its primary responsibility of protecting Ataturk’s republic. Sure the first rank is decimated but the second rank will step in and take the standards” That sounds like the Turkish Army that I served with 35 years ago. I was with ALFSEE in Izmir. pl

  10. PStu says:

    The economist Dani Rodrik (a son-in-law of one of the generals on trial) did a great job on his blog of running down some of the more incredible fiction used as evidence. Documents that included organizations non-existent at their putative authorship and files using software unavailable at the time of the claimed origination were accepted by the court. It was a show trial in the best tradition with evidence that the world could evaluate.

  11. Matthew says:

    Ataturk has been dead since 1938. Maybe the Turkey people, who voted for Erdogan three times, should have say in how their country is governed.

  12. turcopolier says:

    So they should have the right to vote everyone else into a medieval tyranny in the making? pl

  13. Matthew says:

    Col: Erdogan has remained popular because his party has delivered on economic issues. Simply put, Turkey is a lot richer now than in 2002.
    When that fades, he’ll fade.
    You have suggested that Erdogan may refuse to go when he loses his popular mandate. If so, then the Army would be justified in removing him.

  14. Rd. says:

    turcopolier said…
    So they should have the right to vote everyone else into a medieval tyranny in the making? pl”
    isn’t army’s job to protect the country from foreign invaders (as opposed to currying favors for them i.e. Egypt), vs being in politics? Army has no place in the politics, isn’t that part and parcel of the so called ‘democracy’ promoted in US and by the US?
    Mr. Erdogan is trying to nip the army’s butt out of the politics. Turkish army stands as armed forces for the protection of Turkieh, as it should be.

  15. turcopolier says:

    Every officer and enkisted soldier of the US armed forces is sworn to protect the constitution of the United States from all enemies “foreign and domestic.” that would include politicians who violate the constitution. To that end the US JCS cautioned all major commanders that they were not to obey orders from the WH when Nixon was in extremis without consulting the JCS. They were afraid that he might try to use the armed forces against the Congress. I judge both Mursi and Erdogan to be enemies of secular constitutional rule and limited government. Apparently the Egyptian military have the same feeling. What will happen in Turkey will be seen. I judge Erdogan to be an Islamist determined to subvert Turkey’s constitution and create a Sharia law state. pl

  16. turcopolier says:

    “…Erdogan may refuse to go when he loses his popular mandate. If so, then the Army would be justified in removing him.” I do not know if you have ever been a soldier but I will try to explain this again. An army is not like a civilian mob. An army that has long existed is very like an organic beast that has well developed habits, attitudes and responses to situations that have long been contemplated. This set of characteristics reside in the officer corps and sergeants. If a ruler wants to change that set of characteristics he must purge the officers beginning with the generals and working his way down in rank until he achieves a density of people with attitudes that he prefers. Once that is achieved, the. army is no longer a “brake” on him. Erdogan is working his way steadily towards that point and Mursi was embarked on the same course of action. Get it now? pl

  17. Rd. says:

    turcopolier said…
    “I judge both Mursi and Erdogan to be enemies of secular constitutional rule and limited government.”
    we may not agree with the nature of Mr Erdogan or Mursi and their policies, just as much as we may not agree with the policies of Mr. Bush or Obama. As both men were elected by a majority of voters. And then there is the next election to have them removed.
    If I recall, Mr Erdogan has been elected and re-elected by a noticeable number of electorates. Please don’t get me wrong, I have no affinity to Mr. Erdogan and his miss-guided FP approach. However, I believe nipping the army out of politics in the long run would be beneficial for Turkish political evolution. And we should hope to see this both in Egypt and Pakistan as well, so these countries too can start evolving (politically) according to their own customs and traditions.

  18. turcopolier says:

    I have heard you out. We do not agree. IMO without the military as a brake on tyranny, countries like these will inexorably slide into dictatorship of one kind ot another.. pl

  19. Fred says:

    Thanks for the breath of fresh air Col. There seems to be too many who breathed in deeply from what some professors of polysci were exhaling in class. Sadly lots of them seem to be working in the State Department.

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I have read also – in a Persian – that the accused are being tried under retroactively for activities that were not criminal at the time they took place – at least not for most of the accused.
    Given that Assad is likely to prevail in Syria and then start making trouble for Turkey – as payback – and the PKK looking for any excuse to fight – I find Erdogan’s actions of high risk domestically and internationally.

  21. FB Ali says:

    Col Lang,
    In Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and many other countries, military interventions in the past have all been ostensibly to remove “bad” governments. They all ended up with military dictatorships.
    It is then a question of point of view: which dictatorship is less harmful? Or, more to the point, which one is preferred?

  22. Alba Etie says:

    Is it possible a special national election might be called early in Turkey ? Is not your national government based on parliamentary rules – where early elections can be called ?
    Stay safe & keep in touch ..

  23. Alba Etie says:

    Col Lang
    And thinking of tyranny & misappropriations of elections -I find it interesting that one David Addington is now the Chief Researcher at the Heritage Foundation. I recall when Mr Addington & Mr Cambone were both shilling for Bushcheny’s agenda- to include waterboarding of detainees…

  24. Herb says:

    So because he was elected three times, he is justified to stage sham monkey trials and jail, for life, all opposition both in the military and in the general public? By this logic you must agree that if everyone but his supporters were imprisoned, it would cut down on campaign costs, which is a worthy goal?

  25. Kunuri says:

    Dead on Albayım, that is the long and short of it.

  26. Fred says:

    Maybe the Turkey people, who voted for Erdogan three times, should have say in how their country is governed.”
    The government those people voted for is jailing political opponents for life. That is ‘one man, one vote, one time’. Obviously the will of the people; except the ones who didn’t vote for it. The Turkish people, thier votes or lack thereof do not dictate what is in the interests of the US or how the US Government should act.

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