Ergenekon Endgame

The shocker was the life sentence just given to General Ilker Basbug, who led the military between 2008 and 2010. He has been accused of leading a terrorist gang. The general has rejected all the charges against him and says it is farcical to accuse a military official appointed to his position by the state with terrorism against the state he is serving.

Was Özal Poisoned?

…The exhumed body of Turkey’s late President Turgut Ozal, who led the country out of military rule in the 1980s, contained poison but the cause of death was unclear, local media reported an autopsy as showing on Wednesday. There have long been rumours that Ozal, who died of heart failure in 1993 aged 65, was […]

The Sledgehammer Descends: More Than 300 Officers Sentenced to Prison

On September 21 a court in Istanbul has sentenced three retired generals to life imprisonment in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer), then reduced the sentence to 20 years. Air Force Cmdr. retired Gen. İbrahim Fırtına, retired 1st Army Cmdr. Gen. Çetin Doğan and retired Navy Cmdr. Adm. Özden Örnek were convicted to life on charges of “attempting to overthrow the […]

Coming Soon at a Bookstore Near You!

Publication date is early November. The excitement (well, my excitement) is mounting. Here’s the publisher’s website with a pdf of chapter 1.

Remembering September 12

The trial against the two generals who carried out the 1980 coup who are still alive, Kenan Evren and Tahsin Şahinkaya, has opened a public discussion of the brutality  of the coup and its aftermath as witnesses around the country step forward and submit their accounts of torture and killing to the court. Given the […]

Remember September 11

In a recent interview (click here), journalist and author Taha Akyol made the important point that the trial of the 1980 coup generals now occurring obscures the overall “authoritarian and conflict-based nature” of Turkey’s political system, both in the time before the coup and now and in so doing absolves those whose violence created the […]

Historic Trial of 1980 Coup Generals Begins

The landmark trial over the 1980 coup opened yesterday in the absence of the two ailing defendants, coup leader Kenan Evren and then air force commander Tahsin Şahinkaya, as some intervening lawyers demanded that the pair be brought to court in a cage… Evren, 94, Chief of General Staff during the coup and President until 1989 […]

Erdoğan and the Deep State

This article by Dexter Filkins in the New Yorker about Erdoğan and the Deep State has been causing a lot of chin-wagging, with people e-mailing me and asking whether it was true. True enough, I say, although we can’t be certain of the details. You can read it for yourself here.

Who Is Immune From Prosecution? Who Isn’t?!

An article in the pro-Islamic Today’s Zaman criticized the AKP government’s recent move in parliament to grant MIT (Turkey’s CIA) officials immunity from prosecution unless approved by the prime minister.  (See my posts on this below.) The newspaper then examines who else is immune from prosecution. It seems a whole lot of people are! (click […]

Move, Countermove

The MIT (Turkey’s CIA) Istanbul regional chairman has been removed from office and replaced.  This is a post in line for moving up to MIT Deputy Undersecretary. The MIT Undersecretary, deputy undersecretary, and former undersecretary were all called to give statements as subjects of an investigation into support for PKK-related terrorist groups (see my previous […]