January 7, 2012
I knew that one day these two articles regarding Ilker Başbuğ would be useful. I quote some crucial extracts:
When a journalist asked about speculations that top generals might consider resigning from their posts in reaction to the arrests of their colleagues, Başbuğ did not hide his anger. “Are you going to be happy if we resign? I said I am on the job until the last minute of my term,” he said. “I have been wearing this uniform for the last 50 years and I still feel like a lieutenant.”
Başbuğ continued by explaining the meaning of “teğmen,” the Turkish word for lieutenant: “‘Teğmen’ means the one who attacks. This word was created by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself. We’ll sometimes be generals, sometimes lieutenants.”
“I started to wear this uniform in 1957. I was promoted to officer in 1962. My actual service [as an officer] in the military has been 48 years,” he said. “There are some other generals who served 47 or 46 [years]. But 48 years – it’s a record. Why do I say this? I want to emphasize that I stand behind my years in the military. I stand behind what I have done thus far.”
Here is the second article:
Earlier in the day, Başbuğ attended an award ceremony and bestowed a medal of honor and the Distinguished Service Medal upon several military officers for their contributions and service to the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK.
Speaking to daily Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila, Başbuğ, who served in the most stressful period of the army due to the ongoing probes against several army members and accusations against the TSK for alleged involvement in the coup plot, said he did not feel tired.
“I still feel like a young lieutenant because being one means being on the attack,” he said Friday.
I hope that justice will be done. I curse those who are behind that unhealthy conspiracy.
PS. In this short post in Turkish that dates back to last July I introduced a declaration of Mr Ilker Başbuğ (who besides has never been used to being in front of the cameras). To put it in a nutshell, he said:
The military ought to not interfere in politics.
The military cares about the interests of the whole society.
PPS. Well the next two pictures – taken more than one year ago – aimed at conveying the message that there was no problem between former Chief of General Staff Ilker Başbuğ and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and that the Turkish state is and will be united against terrorism and other foreign threats:
PPPS. I quote myself:
“We all know that the Turkish military protects the republic, but some people within it are traitors. They think that they have some power and that they are able to make the best decisions for the republic, but they are dangerous.
I do not believe that the Turkish military planned to bomb a mosque or hit one of its jets. But I believe that some people within it planned it. But these people don’t represent the Turkish army, they are traitors against the country and Atatürk.
But the Turkish army can’t control everybody.
Following the headlines of Taraf newspaper, the Chief of General Staff Ilker Başbuğ said something very important.
He said that the whole Turkish army can’t be accused.
He said “the whole” (“tümünü”) and immediately he made a break:
Siz bu orduyu tümünü nasıl böyle itham edersiniz?
He insisted on that word, which is very revealing. It summarizes the stance and the opinion of the Turkish army.”
PPPPS. I wrote more than one year ago:
“Ilker Başbuğ will be on retirement. He is the best Chief of General Staff I’ve ever known. And he succeeded in protecting the credibility of the Turkish army. By reason of the complexity of Turkey and of its sensitive geo-strategic position, is there any foreign Chief of General Staff whom we can compare with him? Ilker Başbuğ is a very intelligent man. I have listened to some of his speeches since 1996. I wish he had been the boss longer. Let’s hope that his successor will be as competent as him.”
PPPPPS. Eventually, this former short article should be read too:cem