The General Staff claimed that press freedom and freedom of expression rights were exploited in order to provoke Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
The statements at the website of The General Staff were as follows:
*Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has a big love towards its state and Great Nation. Its efforts are always to perform its tasks which are determined by legislation; however, recently, there are news, claims and comments targeting Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in the media.
*It's observed with sorrow and anxiousness that these claims and comments intend provocation and they try to debilitate the efforts, motivation, and morale of altruistic and heroic Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) members who perform their tasks in the best way that's possible.
*Some writers, speakers and representatives of professional institutions exploit press freedom and freedom of expression rights and they make a mockery of Atatürk and the other soldiers who made history and are proud of to be soldiers; they try to harm the hierarchical relations and the sense of disciplinary of the most disciplined army in the world. It's a great misfortune as they try to provoke and harm Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and its precious members by their speeches and writings.
*From its lowest ranking soldiers to the highest ranking general/admirals, altruistic and heroic members of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will not be provoked and will continue to serve for our country and Great Nation tied to the parliamentary democratic system and the fundamental principles of our Constitution tempered in the unity and integrity.
Are Coşkun ve Kocasakal the target of the statement?
Cumhuriyet newspaper writer Bekir Coşkun and President of the Istanbul Bar Association were thought as the target of the recent TSK statement.
Coşkun wrote a column entitled "Pasha" on April 29 and told about a dialogue in between a high-ranking dog with an owner called "Pasha" and a dog without owner.
Kocasakal made a speech on March 30 at Eskişehir Anatolian University, Kemalist Thought Club and said, "We thought that we had a powerful army. We thought it would protect us. It's not Turkish Armed Forces any more; it's Turkish Unarmed Forces. You are Turkish Unarmed Forces that's why we are going to work nonstop."
"Targeting media is not proper"
Bekir Coşkun and Ümit Kocasakal assessed the statement on Cumhuriyet newspaper:
"I do not take it personally. I have been writing about animals on Sundays for 25 years and it was a humoristic column with a dialogue in between two dogs."
"There were many humiliating statements made before and they didn't take offense at them and now why should they take offense at my humoristic writing?"
"It was not proper to target media by implications on World Press Freedom Day" says Bekir Coşkun.
"I am not the object of this statement"
"I mentioned Turkish public by saying 'Turkish Unarmed Forces'. I looked at the audience at the conference hall and I tried to say 'You shouldn't hope for help from TSK. You are going to protect the republic"
"I've always protected the corporate identity of TSK and I'll. I have always protected Kemalism with my speeches and acts."
"I do not think that I am the object of this statement. They are talking about writers and speakers. I would be so sad if the General Staff targeted me" says Ümit Kocasakal. (EKN)