"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..." Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan
Chalk this up to the sharia and the further re-islamization of Turkey. This is a ploy to demonize the Turkish military (yet again), which has been our ally (enforcing the separation of mosque and state) since 1945.
General Basbug (pronounced Bashbu), a former military chief, was jailed Friday, accused of leading a terrorist organization and "plotting to bring down Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government." Basbug is a good and loyal soldier who protected the secular freedoms that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk implemented after the Turkish Independence war.
Gen. Ilker Basbug, center, arrives at a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday. "We can say it is really tragicomic to accuse somebody who commands such an army of forming and directing a terrorist group," he reportedly told the court. MSNBC News services (hat tip Hernanadez)
ANKARA, Turkey — A former military chief was jailed Friday, accused of leading a terrorist organization and plotting to bring down Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, his lawyer said.
Gen. Ilker Basbug was arrested and placed in a prison near Istanbul overnight after seven hours of questioning by prosecutors investigating allegations that the military funded dozens of websites aimed at discrediting the Islamic-rooted government in 2009.
Basbug, who retired in 2010, is the highest-ranking officer to face trial in the so-called Ergenekon case, a long-running crackdown on EU candidate Turkey's once all-powerful military and secularist establishment.
"The Republic of Turkey's 26th general chief of staff has been remanded in custody for forming and directing a terrorist group," Basbug said as he was lead from the courtroom. "I leave it to the great Turkish nation to judge."
Some of the suspects already charged in the case, including senior generals and admirals, have said they acted in a chain of command. Basbug led the military at the time.
Lawyer Ilkay Sezer said Basbug denied the accusations during questioning.
Turkey's military, NATO's second-largest army, has long seen itself as the guarantor of the country's secular constitution, and had staged three coups between 1960 and 1980 and pressured another government from power in 1997.