Bugün’s Erhan Başyurt says that placing coup perpetrators on trial is not enough to prevent future coups. He suggests that further demilitarization is necessary. Başyurt suggests: making the gendarmerie operate under the Ministry of Internal Affairs; changing Article 35 of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) Internal Service Code, which incentivizes military interventions in politics; and increasing civilian involvement in the coast guard and border security forces. These are some of the principal steps that he argues will further Turkey’s democracy.
On the other hand, Star’s Fehmi Koru discusses some developments in the foreign media. Richard Reid, a British national and suicide bomber trained by al-Qaeda who is currently serving a life sentence without parole in a maximum security prison in the US, was arrested after the police caught him while boarding an airplane with explosives in his shoes. We have known since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that al-Qaeda always plans double-attacks, says Koru. On the same day as Reid’s attempt, another Brit, Saajid Badat, was also caught planning to blow up an aircraft with a bomb hidden in his shoes. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, added Koru. But Badat assisted British and US authorities while imprisoned, by providing information to be used in operations against al-Qaeda. Badat also warned authorities of attacks that were in their planning stages. Because of this, Badat has been released. Koru asks why the same British judicial system cannot be applied in Turkey.
“Prisons are full of suspects. And many of them were surely forced to commit their crimes -- which they sincerely regret -- by someone else. So why not speed up the judicial process by releasing them on the condition that they help the police and prosecutors by giving them information? There are already some stipulations for ‘secret witnesses’ and ‘regretting one’s actions’ in the legislation, but they are not adequate. Prosecutors should have broader authority to use criminals’ testimonies in their investigations. Not just out of their love for this country but because these criminals can provide valuable information and also save their own lives,” Koru says.