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Military denies plot against Turkish deputy FM

24 December 2009 [17:56] - TODAY.AZ
The office of the chief of General Staff has denied allegations that two military officers were plotting against Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.
It said the officers were following another military officer who was allegedly leaking confidential data and whose house was close to the deputy prime minister’s.

“The privacy and confidentiality of investigation is a basic rule of law. Regretfully, recent developments have shown that this principle is no longer regarded in our country,” the military said in a written statement late Wednesday.

The statement came hours after Arınç said he would take the issue to the next National Security Council, or MGK, meeting.

According to reports, two officers were detained late Saturday close to Arınç’s house in Ankara on the grounds that they were tracking the deputy prime minister. Some media outlets alleged that the officers were planning to assassinate Arınç.

The officers were released after a detention of several hours, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Arınç, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and government spokesman Cemil Çiçek all described the situation as very disturbing and grave.

“There is a difference between the reports giving all details related to the incident and the reports consisting of some details and comments,” the statement said in what was seen as a hint that media reports had twisted the incident.

The Turkish Armed Forces had been forced to make a public statement as a result of the mounting comments, the statement read.

“According to police records, no equipment used for wiretapping was found,” the statement said. “Police, in the presence of the public prosecutor, searched the houses of both officers until 4:30 a.m. The police record clarifies that no evidence was found, but that their computers and electronic data equipment were seized for further investigation.”

Emphasizing the fact that the two officers were released by the prosecutor, the military said, “These military officers were in charge of investigating another officer who resides in the same neighborhood and who is suspected of leaking information.”

In a statement made before the army issued its release, Arınç said, "I have yet to contact [Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ], yet the MGK meeting is upcoming.”

The MGK will convene Dec. 28 at the presidential palace with military commanders and Cabinet members in attendance. The alleged plot was also discussed at a Cabinet meeting Monday.

/Huriyyet Daily News/

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