Campaign Against General Ilker BasbugCampaign Against General Ilker Basbug
During the period preceding the August Supreme Military Council [YAS] meetings, when top military commanders are assigned to their new duties (or retire), Islamist circles intensify their efforts to discredit top ranking military officers, especially the one expected to become the new Chief of General Staff. Two years ago Gen. Yasar Buyukanit was the target of long smearing campaigns and now it is Commander of the Land Forces Ilker Basbug. Following the publication of photos of Gen. Basbug at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem that aimed to portray him as “Jewish”, or “close to Jews”, by the Islamist and virulently antisemitic daily Vakit, the pro-AKP, liberal daily Taraf’s editor Ahmet Altan accused General Basbug and Osman Paksut, the Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Court, of having a meeting in March at Basbug’s office in the military headquarters and characterized the meeting as “secret” and “mysterious”.
The columnists aim was to give the impression that General Basbug intended to influence the Constitutional Court decisions on AKP, through Paksut. Altan implied that these were pro-coup, undemocratic institutions and called them “criminals”. Both Paksut and Basbug in separate statements refuted the implied accusations and said that Paksut had visited Basbug to congratulate the general on the military’s land operation into northern Iraq and that their meeting was between two old friends, as the two men are known to be.
While the Islamist media continues its attacks on Basbug and Paksut for having the meeting, and demands Justice Paksut’s resignation, the mainstream media fires back accusing the partizan AKP-media for their smearing campaign.
Source: Taraf, Vakit, Hurriyet, Milliyet, Vatan, Radikal, June 14-15, 2008