ANKARA – TDN Parliament Bureau
The main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, and the military collided a second time yesterday over the Supreme Military Council, or YAŞ, meeting that ended Monday. YAŞ' decision not to expunge any military officers because of reactionary activities pitted the CHP against the military. The General Staff immediately reacted to a senior CHP official's remarks implying that YAŞ protected perpetrators of anti-secular acts in the army through a midnight statement posted on its Web site Tuesday.
�When the size of military is taken into account, it is interesting that YAŞ didn't discuss any reports on anti-secular activities. I think that there is a warm relationship between the government and the General Staff,� CHP parliamentary group deputy leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said during a meeting Tuesday.
�It should be known that YAŞ' expulsion decisions do not aim at making some groups happy or unhappy. Expulsion of the ones proven guilty through evidence is natural and there is no hesitancy on the subject. However, investigations to reveal one's attitude that could become a legal base for expulsion may take a long time,� the military replied on its Web site.
The military also defined Kılıçdaroğlu's words as �unmeritorious,� in its harsh statement. Yesterday's row is the second big clash between the CHP and the military in recent years. The main opposition party publicly criticized the military for ending a cross border operation in northern Iraq. The CHP argued Turkish forces returned to Turkey after a week, upon pressure from the United States.
Kılıçdaroğlu claims secret deal
Kılıçdaroğlu also claimed that there is a bargain between the military and the government on non-expulsion, basing his argument on news published by the Turkish press. �The president said he would not sign YAŞ decisions if there is an expulsion. This is published on Web sites. The interesting point of the subject is the purchase of a private car to a retired chief of General Staff at an extraordinary price. We are faced with an odd structure that seems to be against the military yet moves along with the military.�
The military was particularly angry with this second claim. Its statement underlined that Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt, who will leave his office for General İlker Başbuğ at the end August, became the target of terrorist organizations and was exposed to four assassination plots during his term of office. The military's written statement verified the purchase of an armored car for the protection of Büyükanıt for use in his retirement days, yet claimed that it was not a personal car but a property of state.
�Since it is a state property, it was bought without paying the customs. The purchasing procedure is completed within the state's legal legislation,� the military noted, and added that the military's disrespect for its own discipline or bringing it under suspicion is out of question.
Presidency rejects CHP argument
President Abdullah Gül's office also joined the discussion through a written statement issued on the subject. �Claims that the president would not sign a YAŞ decision doesn't reflect the reality and purchase of a luxury car for a retired General Staff is an aspersion,� the Presidency said, adding that such claims against the military cause wrong belief among the public.
Meanwhile Kılıçdaroğlu replied to the military and the president's statements yesterday in a press conference at the Parliament. �I never mentioned one's happiness or unhappiness as a result of YAŞ decisions. Yet it is clear that the ones who are involved in �F-type' organization are content with the result,� he said. The phrase �F-type organization� is used for public servants who support leaders or figureheads of a religious order Fethullah Gülen.
Kılıçdaroğlu demanded to know the number of pending dossiers against Islamists within the army that could not be discussed in the YAŞ meeting. He also asked how many YAŞ meetings ended with no-expulsion decisions. Kılıçdaroğlu was dissatisfied with the President's Office's explanation as well. �It seems that the president didn't understand the event. Purchase and imports of an armored car for Büyükanıt are facts,� he noted.