ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
President Abdullah Gül met with former Chief of Staff retired Gen. Hilmi Özkök yesterday, whose call last week for wise men to intervene and ease tensions in the country was translated as an invitation to the president.
Özkök left the two-and-a-half hour long lunch without making any statements. It is thought that the two had an extensive session over the arrests of former army commanders, charged with staging a coup in the Ergenekon case. Gül previously told reporters that he is holding open as well as closed meetings to calm political tensions in Turkey.
Gül's meeting came after Özkök called for an official actor to appear immediately and start a movement with people's support. �It is openly written in the Constitution who is in charge of ensuring cooperation. But other disinterested actors must also be involved,� Özkök had said in an interview with Milliyet last week, calling �wise men� to duty.
Özkök lately appeared as a surprise figure in the Ergenekon case, first with his �call to duty,� and lately his comments on the trial. Özkök had said he could neither deny, nor verify coup allegations that are mentioned in the �military coup diaries,� claimed to belong to former Naval Forces Chief retired Adm. Özden Örnek. The diaries claim that Özkök, referred to as the �orphan,� was criticized because of his opposition to a military coup in 2004 during his term in office.
Özkök had also hinted that he might testify in the Ergenekon trial, if he is asked to do so and the General Staff approves.