ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
Former Chief of General Staff Hilmi Özkök neither confirmed nor denied the claims about coup plots, which reportedly were drawn up in 2004 during his term in office.
In an interview with daily Milliyet, Özkök answered questions related to the Ergenekon case which focuses on allegations against retired generals who were under his command at the time.
The �Coup Diaries� which allegedly belong to retired Adm. Özden Örnek, claimed Özkök opposed coup plots inside the military and did not support generals who were keen on intervention. Due to Özkök's refusal the plots were said to be taken up by Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Şener Eruygur.
�I would neither confirm nor deny these claims. That is what I can say,� Özkök said when asked whether the meetings or conversations on coup plots written in Örnek's diaries were true.
Özkök said Örbek should be respected when he says the diaries do not belong to him.
Özkök said if he is called as a witness by the court an application to the General Staff might be required for him to testify. �In such cases, the judicial consultancy department of the General Staff assesses the situation and I will act according to that decision,� Özkök added.
The former chief expressed his wish for the two retired generals, Hurşit Tolon and Şener Eruygur, to be exonerated at the end of the process and for the case to be concluded soon. However Özkök noted, �If there is a crime then purging an offence is a relief. You know, renowned novel �Crime and Punishment' presents the psychology very well.�