ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
The prime minister yesterday admitted he possesses insider information about the Ergenekon case that has been ongoing since last year with hundreds of detentions and over 50 arrests but no indictment yet.
�They ask whether the prime minister knows something or not. The prime minister has to know; he is held accountable for all that happens. He has to know at least as much as you,� Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday, while addressing his party's parliamentary group.
�Why are people who glare at the clean hands operation in Italy and ask for a similar operation in Turkey disturbed when these steps are taken?� he added.
Erdoğan said Turkey must get rid of Cold War-era practices, illegitimate and illegal structures, and pointed to the judiciary as the primary burden bearer for it. �The executive's duty is to provide police service to the judiciary. The political will that has been long sought in Turkey is present in our government,� Erdoğan noted and said the media and opposition have important tasks to perform. �It is vital not to wear institutions down by making them the subject of ungrounded and unjust discussions. A working democracy must be a must for everybody. We must do it for the principles of our Republic instead of trying to cover things up and objecting to investigations. The opposition must be sensitive,� he said.
�Whatever the circumstances, we will never cast a shadow on democratic politics,� said Erdoğan and his message to the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, leader Deniz Baykal who argued that �if Erdoğan is prosecutor of this case, I am its lawyer� was, �We are not lawyers for gangs or the mafia. I am especially stressing this. But we are obliged to fulfill the duty the judiciary has given us.�
Baykal discredits coup plan
Baykal in response to Erdoğan, said the person to initiate the operation must have clean hands first. �Politics have penetrated the court room, and justice is ousted,� Baykal said and defended the detainees saying they cannot be held responsible for a coup attempt. �Did you detain Mustafa Balbay, journalists, soldiers because they prevented �clean hands'? You do not have the right to say a word before lifting your parliamentary immunity,� Baykal said.
He pointed out that hand grenades found in a retired noncommissioned officer's house in Istanbul's Ümraniye district, also accepted as the incident that kindled the Ergenekon investigation, were destroyed one day after their discovery. �There are plenty of suspects, thesis, projects, books. But there is no arsenal, no weapons. You have to establish the link with violence,� Baykal said and urged the authorities to clarify whether the alleged coup attempt was meant to be carried out in the past or in the present day. �If the attempt is about the past, there are people who have to be questioned accordingly. Is it possible to believe that officers within the army along with retired officers will stage a coup despite the Chief of Staff? An indictment has been postponed since these logical deficiencies could not be tackled,� he said.
Bahçeli warns against polarization
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, leader Devlet Bahçeli said his party will remain �distant from polarizations, and avoid igniting them,� in a written statement yesterday. Tensions are created between circles that have a problem with the Republic, and political actors away from the values of people, said Bahçeli and noted the disputes have begun to move beyond the political scene. �European representatives, trans-ocean centers, and foreign powers are included, with the help of the government, for this disorder, which creates alarm for the regime,� Bahçeli said.
An indictment is expected to be submitted to the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office by Friday.