Barış Terkoğlu

Erdoğan or Netanyahu?

27 Kasım 2023 Pazartesi

The poet Juvenal once said, 'Revenge is the pride of a petty mind.' Especially when what you perceive as revenge is actually your own injustice...

The guns have fallen silent. The hostage exchange has begun. Hamas and Israel are releasing their captives. Despite the fury that might drive one to kill, even war has its laws, compelling compliance even from those unwilling. To save children, women, the elderly, and the sick from the shadow of bullets, they are removed from the battlefield. Yet, the thirst for revenge that enslaves leaders, makes one lament that they are worse than Netanyahu or Hamas.

I am referring to the generals over 80 held inside. As is known, the current political power has an unresolved issue with the events of February 28. Blinded by this vendetta...

I have discussed this many times in my articles. The prosecutor who wrote the indictment for the February 28 case, Mustafa Bilgili, was convicted in the FETÖ Cosmic Room case. The source of the fake documents in the case is the whistleblower of the conspiracy trials, Ahmet Yılmaz. The person who brought these documents to the prosecutor is Tamer Tatar, expelled from the army during the February 28 process for being associated with Fethullah Gülen. The judges who made the arrests in the case, playing critical roles, are also linked to FETÖ. After the falling out between Erdoğan and Gülen post-December 17-25 events, they continued to sing "We Walked Together" in the February 28 case. Even the Yargıtay's (the Court of Cassation) decision in 79 days was not enough. They collaborated to ensure verdicts against the defendants in the Constitutional Court, which they resented.

It all started a year ago


On December 20 last year, 85-year-old General Vural Avar died in prison. His illness and old age were known. He was being driven to death for revenge. Following public outrage over the incident, the Ministry of Justice issued a circular on January 2.

I open the circular. The document signed by the Minister reminds us of the President's authority:

'According to Article 104, Clause 16 of the Turkish Constitution, the President has the duty and authority to lighten or abolish sentences due to chronic illness, disability, or old age.'

There's more...

The document signed by Bekir Bozdağ urges, 'For immediate and complete submission to the Presidential office,' the referral of sick and elderly prisoners to the Forensic Medicine Institute.

In other words, Bozdağ says it's our job to identify sick and elderly inmates, but the President is responsible for taking action.

Today, five retired generals remain in prison within the scope of the case. Çetin Doğan is 83, Fevzi Türkeri 82, Yıldırım Türker 82, Cevat Temel Özkaynak 78, Erol Özkasnak 77.

The inmates, as mentioned by the Minister, were one by one referred to Forensic Medicine.

The Forensic Medicine 3rd Specialization Board conducted detailed health screenings of the generals. After several back and forths, it was determined that all five generals suffered from chronic illness and old age. Reports were sent to the prosecutors in April and May. According to doctors, the five generals could not remain in prison.

For example, the Forensic Medicine 3rd Specialization Board listed Çetin Doğan's illnesses as follows: Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary artery disease, operated lumbar narrow canal, right peroneal nerve damage, right foot drop, hearing loss. A unanimous report of 'old age' was issued for Doğan. Doğan's file was sent to the prosecutor's office on April 6.

Refusing to sign for revenge

The files went from the execution prosecutors to the Ministry of Justice and then to the Presidency. From here on, it wasn't a matter of discretion, but a duty. The President couldn't say 'I don't think so' to a prisoner proven to be sick and old. He was to sign, and the generals would spend their last days at their designated addresses. Everyone was ready for this. Even the addresses where the generals would stay after their release were determined by the police and added to the file.

However, something happened, and the process halted. The President, who quickly abolished the imprisonment of 71-year-old Mehmet Emin Alpsoy, a defendant in the Hizbullah case accused of torturing innocent people to death in graves, 75-year-old Hacı Sülük, who killed Saadet Party ballot box officers, and 75-year-old Hayrettin Gül, who burned writers alive in Sivas, has been delaying the generals' files for 6 months. A year after Vural Avar's death, the process started but has not progressed. The children of soldiers who carried the uniform of the Turkish Armed Forces for nearly 50 years wake up every morning worried, 'Has my father died?'

It's not hard to guess why. Even war has its laws, recognized by Hamas and Netanyahu within a month and a half, but our people's thirst for revenge knows no rules. Do the generals inside need Qatar or Sisi to intervene?

Revenge is a poison that blinds its owner first. If everyone took a sip, the truth would become invisible.

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