Former army chief says only Erdogan could deal with Gulenists

Former Turkish Army chief says none other than Turkish president could deal with Gulenists who have infiltrated institutions to gain control of apparatus by carrying out illegal wiretaps, forging official documents

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Former Turkish Army chief Ilker Basbug speaks at a conference in Turkeys eastern Erzurum Province, April 14, 2016.

Former Turkish Army chief of staff Ilker Basbug said none other than Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could deal with the ‘parallel state’ also known as Gulenist Terror Organisation (FETO), which has infiltrated institutions to gain control of apparatus by carrying out illegal wiretaps and forging official documents.

Speaking at a conference in Turkey’s eastern Erzurum province on Thursday, Basbug said that Turkey has been faced with enormous dangers in the last two years as it is found out that the Ergenekon and Balyoz appeal trials were fabricated by Gulenists.

These trials, starting in July 2008, are a series of high-profile trials in which numerous military officers, journalists, and political figures from opposition parties were tried and accused of planning a military coup against the Turkish government.

There were 275 defendants in the Ergenekon trials and Ilker Basbug was also among them.

Before Turkey’s chief prosecutor demanded the dismissal of the Ergenekon case, Basbug and 63 other army officials were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Gulenists are followers of Fethullah Gulen, a former imam from Turkey who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States. Turkey's National Security Council considers the Gulenists a major threat as they are trying to set-up a so-called parallel state by exerting their influence among senior bureaucrats and the judiciary.

An investigation was launched after the group tried to overthrow Turkey's elected government in a so-called judicial coup in 2014.

TRTWorld and agencies