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Turkish General Staff Refuses Inquiry on Semdinli

The Turkish General Staff is determined not to file an investigation against Turkish Land Forces Commander General Yasar Buyukanit and three other commanders in connection with the Semdinli indictment.

Having investigated the indictment Van Public Prosecutor, Ferhat Sarikaya, prepared in relation to the blast that occurred on November 9 in Semdinli, the General Staff unveiled its views in a written statement yesterday.

The indictment “is going beyond its intention,” it is political rather than legal, and aims at weakening both the Turkish Armed Forces and the fight against terrorism,” the General Staff announced.

A notice of crime for the prosecutor was also issued by the General Staff.

The statement further read that a statement made by the owner of Diyarbakir Soz TV, Mehmet Ali Altindag, about Buyukanit was still being questioned by a military judiciary.

The written statement to the Office of General Staff Secretary General confirms that two files including the Semdinli indictment were delivered to the Office on 13 March 2006.

Accordingly, the unsigned charges noted in the indictment are baseless and are not based on concrete evidence, the General Staff statement criticized, and the claims of official misconduct, bribery and smuggling relating to various members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) was raised.

The General Staff stated that the public prosecutor preparing the indictment made the description of a crime and reflected it on the indictment, without conducting an investigation and without using any expressions of judgment; whereas, the prosecutor was expected to send these claims, charges and complaints directly to the General Staff Presidency as the authority.

The indictment involves several procedures and material errors; it was noticed in the statement criticizing that a public prosecutor cannot lack legal attainments.

Accordingly, the TSK believes in the superiority of law and the independence of judiciary, but both the TSK and the public conscience were seriously disrupted.

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