Retired Gen. Alan back in office as TSKGV head

Retired Gen. Alan back in office as TSKGV head

Engin Alan

July 08, 2010, Thursday/ 20:53:00
Retired Gen. Engin Alan, the general director of the Foundation to Strengthen the Turkish Armed Forces (TSKGV), returned to office on Wednesday after being released from prison, where he was held for three months on coup charges.

Alan was arrested twice as part of the investigation into an alleged military plot to topple the government. He was, however, released through controversial court rulings. Titled the Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan, the plot allegedly sought to undermine the government and lay the groundwork for a military takeover. Alan is a former Special Forces commander.

The retired general came to prominence in April 2010 when he told a journalist that he was arrested because of his “disrespect for the prime minister.” In an interview with Sözcü’s Emin Çölaşan, Alan said he did not comply with a request by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to delay an official ceremony that would mark the anniversary of the Çanakkale land battles.

“As the commanders, we were responsible for the celebrations. Everything was ready. He [the prime minister] sent me a message via the [Çanakkale] governor. He said he would be two hours late and asked me to delay the celebrations. I did not agree. I said the program would not change. He then had to attend the celebrations on time. When he finished his speech [during the celebrations], I did not stand up or applaud him,” Alan told the journalist.

On another occasion, the retired general argued that the ongoing operations into the Ergenekon terrorist organization were the result of the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) fear of the Turkish military. Ergenekon is a clandestine criminal organization accused of working to topple the government. “They are afraid of all of us. They are real cowards. They are most afraid of the naval forces. That is why they arrest naval officers the most,” Alan said.

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