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Is the Turkish Military Getting a Fair Trial?

Tulin Daloglu questions whether the Turkish military is getting fair treatment.
A gendarme soldier stands in front of protesters as a Turkish flag with a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, flutters outside Silivri prison, some 70 km (43.5 miles) west of Istanbul, during the trial of a shadowy-right wing group taking place in the heavily-guarded prison, October 23, 2008. The trial of Ergenekon, a shadowy right-wing group, resumed in Turkey on Thursday on charges of trying to topple Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government.  REUTERS/Fatih Saribas  (TURKEY) - R

When something is complicated, and the facts are contested, people oftentimes wait quietly for clarity to emerge. To wit, Turks for the most part have remained silent since the judiciary began putting active and retired officers behind bars to await trial for suspected involvement in Ergenekon, an alleged “terrorist organization” seeking to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The Turks’ silence is a clear sign of an impasse and possible loss of trust in the military.

“As a retired member of the Turkish military, I attest to you that I am totally disappointed at our nation’s ignorance to the trial process of my colleagues,” Ihsan Aygun, a retired air force brigadier general, recently told Al-Monitor. “I even now question myself as to whether it was worth risking my life for this nation!” Aygun and others have consistently maintained that the Ergenekon trial process has been politicized by a revenge-driven Islamist-based government determined to end “Ataturk’s Turkey.”

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