Safeguarding Democracy

27 01 2010

Seeing as our Polishittens cannot be trusted to support our democratic freedoms (EU referendum), perhaps a Military Mandate free from the Bastards that Be can be forthcoming from the inevitable fallout this coming Election will bring.  Or course, to avoid abuse of such things, markers would have to be set, lines drawn and plans made to avoid becoming a Military Junta.  And of course, that would possible but no more than it is now if the orders was given.  One of the biggest dangers of EU membership is the prospect of foreign troops on our lands under an EU mandate.  Using the same tactic as Rome did, incorporating the conquered into their armies and having them provide the military order over other conquered peoples.  Lack of attachment to the people from the troops would make those ‘difficult’ orders easier to carry out.

I pondered this as it has kept Turkey democratic and secular in the past.  Whenever the Government is seen to be abusing the power entrusted in them, in comes the Military to insist on resignations.  And if a tank is pointing at your office, it’s an offer that cannot be refused.  The following article is in ragaeds to a possible coup against the AK party that currently governs Turkey.  I say possible due to the fact the General has stated that they’re contingency plans.  The best plans you can have are contingency plans and the reason should be obvious to every sod with a brain cell.

Suitcase of documents reveals plan for yet another very Turkish coup

Times, January 28, 2010

The slides show photographs of tanks plastered across maps of Istanbul, the routes they are to take clearly marked. One gives details of how 52,000 loyal troops might overpower up to 200,000 enemies — not foreign invaders, but Turks of unacceptable political views.

An audio recording has a voice that sounds like Cetin Dogan, the former head of Turkey’s First Army, haranguing a military seminar about the evils of religion in government. One document entitled Balyoz, or Sledgehammer, which has General Dogan’s name on it, says: “The final aim is to take all precautions, including suspending democracy, until the fundamentalist apparatus is eliminated, never to resurface, and none of its members remain.”

When the the Justice and Development Party (AK) swept to power in 2002, its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, promised “a new clean sheet” in Turkish politics. Seeking to assuage fears that his party, comprising former Islamists, would try to do away with the country’s secularist tradition, he said that he would back the campaign for EU membership and greater integration into the world economy.

But according to evidence seen by The Times — 5,000 pages of scanned documents, CDs of slides and 48 hours of audio recordings — in 2002 and 2003, only a few months after Mr Erdogan and his supporters came into government, several Turkish generals and dozens of officers began detailed plans for a coup and its aftermath.

If true, Sledgehammer joins a series of plots, allegations and fears of a “state within a state” bent on the overthrow of AK and the defence of the hallowed secularism of Kamal Atatürk, founder of the republic and its first President.

Turks are used to military takeovers: four governments were toppled by the army between 1960 and 1998. But what is so shocking about Sledgehammer is that it seems to lay bare in unprecedented detail the blueprint for staging a coup — and a way of thinking that many believed was becoming dated.

“My source brought the originals of all this stuff in a suitcase one night last week,” said Mehmet Baransu, a journalist for the combative Taraf newspaper, who broke the story. “He had been in the First Army and was uncomfortable with developments.”

AK’s pro-Western, pro-market reforms kickstarted a period of economic growth and secured longed-for recognition as an EU candidate. “There was no crisis, nothing wrong, yet they thought a military coup was needed,” said Yasemin Congar, Taraf’s deputy editor.

General Dogan originally dismissed the documents as contingency plans before denying outright that they had ever existed. However, the digital imprints on the files lead back to military computers and were last modified in 2003. Taraf has handed the documents to Istanbul prosecutors.

His voice is recognisable and he has all but admitted the tape’s authenticity in various television appearances. Other voices are also identifiable.

Many military personnel are named in Sledgehammer and related documents. Ibrahim Firtina, who went on to command the air force, is linked to a plan for a Turkish aircraft to be downed and the attack blamed on Greece to create the nationalist unity needed for a coup. Also implicated is Ozden Ornek, former head of the navy, whose name has been linked to other coup attempts.

Whole teams of soldiers are identified clearly and their roles outlined in plans to detonate bombs in mosques and then incite the survivors to riot, creating the impression that fundamentalist Islamists are on the move. In an extra twist, the main Sledgehammer document contains one paragraph discussing how to take advantage of the chaos in the event of co-ordinated attacks by al-Qaeda in large cities, especially Istanbul. It was written several months before two waves of simultaneous al-Qaeda suicide attacks against the British consulate, the HSBC bank and synagogues in that city.

There are lists of journalists for arrest and unbiddable judges to “retire”. A senior aide to Mr Erdogan is named as among those set to lose their jobs. Stadiums are to be prepared for mass detentions. An interim Cabinet is outlined and an insular, interventionist economic plan is drawn up.

There are long lists of officials graded according to usefulness or otherwise. A top prosecutor who nearly had the AK party shut down is favoured. One official is listed as useful because his womanising makes him easy to manipulate. Another is marked “Leftist, just, upstanding — not to be trusted”.

There are other alleged plots dating from 2004, with enticing names such as Moonlight and The Glove, going through the courts, pointing to a sustained effort to dethrone AK ever since it came to power. A mass trial in Istanbul is examining a series of crimes linked to an attempt to overthrow AK through a campaign of violence by a shadowy right-wing group known as Ergenekon.

Yesterday 17 people were charged with plotting to overthrow the Government; more than 200 people, including officers, lawyers and politicians, have been arrested since the case came to light 2½ years ago. Ergenekon is said to be similar to Sledgehammer: a campaign of bombings and other attacks to sow chaos and “force” the army to intervene. The military has denied any link to the alleged plot and critics of the Government call the trial a way of subduing AK’s opponents.

This week Mr Erdogan all but said he knew about Sledgehammer at the time. “Do you think we don’t hear about these things?” he told a meeting of senior AK members. Apart from the numerous coup allegations, his Government has survived legal attempts to have AK banned as well as assassinations of its members.

“But we don’t like tension so we got on with our business,” Mr Erdogan added. “Unfortunately, so did they.”

Military muscle

In 1971 Süleyman Demirel, the Prime Minister, resigned in response to a military memo calling for the restoration of order in what became known as the “coup by memorandum”. Martial law followed for the next two years In 1997 the Turkish military issued a memorandum calling for Necmettin Erbakan, the Prime Minister, to step down as he was a threat to the country’s secular order. He did so without bloodshed or political upheaval, leading the event to be labelled “the postmodern coup” The 2007 “e-coup” took place when the military, amid a tense presidential poll, issued an online statement saying it would not stand by if secularism was threatened. It was an implicit threat to the ex-Islamist Abdullah Gül, who became President anyway Source: Reuters

Still, the idea is a good one (although needing a lot more working out than I have done).  For so long as Her Majesty has control of the Armed Forces and Parliament in charge of the Police, with this Global “War on Terror” added into the equation, surely there is a massive conflict of interest in play here.  Too many interests feeding of eachother while starving us of any real power.  Sure it is all grand if the Establishment are benevolent but unless Our Boys (with the heavy weapons) can guarantee Our Own Democracy, it shall always be open to perversion.

It’s only treason if you fail.

As General Dogan and pals will (sadly) find out.

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