Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Happened at Dağlıca?

On June 20 and 25, Taraf published news that the General Staff had information about the attacks that took place on Turkish troops near Dağlıca in October. The attacks left 13 dead and eight captured following a PKK attack. The Dağlıca affair has been quite controversial as the eight captures involved in the incident were put on trial last December following their negotiated release. For background, see Feb. 5 post.

From BIA-Net:
The Turkish General Staff made an announcement on its internet site regarding the articles “Action Plan” and “Dağlıca ambush was reported nine days before it took place”, both of which were published in the newspaper Taraf on June 20 and June 25, respectively.

In Dağlıca ambush thirteen soldiers were killed and eight were captured by PKK.

The complete text of General Staff’s announcement is as follows:

1. The attrition campaign against the Turkish Armed Forces by certain circles for some time has increased its intensity recently with attacks through the media institutions, including the internet. It is realized that these multidimensional and systematic activities against the Turkish Armed Forces will continue and therefore they are watched closely.

2. In this respect, a daily newspaper published a news article on June 20, 2008, about a document claimed to be an Information Support Plan prepared by the General Staff.

3. Although the said news article was denied by the General Staff with a press release on the same day, it was interesting that some media institutions interpreted the expression that “There is no such an official document or plan that was approved by the command structure in the records” as there was such a plan outside the command structure. Such an interpretation shows that the Turkish Armed Forces is not known at all. The methods and the manner the plans are prepared in Turkish Armed Forces with long-established tradition of discipline and headquarter work culture is very clear.

4. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SUCH A PLAN IN TURKISH ARMED FORCES. It shows clearly how ethic, democratic and legal the mentality that produced this plan and laid the responsibility of it on the General Staff or accept every document that reach them as accurate is.

5. On the other hand, the question by another newspaper on June 25, 2008, that “Then, is this plan prepared by the Army, without the knowledge of the General Staff?” is a clear example of an irresponsible behavior and a baseless attack on its commanders. We leave the determination of how appropriate it is from the perspective of media ethic to publish such an article before the subject is clarified as far as its supporting arguments are concerned to the public.

6. The newspaper which brought up the alleged Information Support Plan also published on June 25, 2008, a “SECRET” message by a command post about the activities of a PKK-KONGRA-GEL terror organization and claimed that although it was warned in this document that an attack on Dağlıca was planned, no measures were taken.

The published message was a real document, whose function was to warn all the units that were under the said threat. Evaluating the received information, turning it into an intelligence report and publishing it as a warning is a standard procedure within the Turkish Armed Forces. In fact, with this warning, the security measures within the units in this area were increased. These units in Dağlıca area showed the necessary reaction and prevented the treacherous attack from reaching its real target. It is a matter of great concern that such provoking perspectives are expressed while the judiciary process is continuing.

Leaking out a “SECRET” military document and publishing it is an illegal act and the matter is transferred to the courts. An institutional investigation was conducted and those responsible for leaking out this document were determined and the legal procedure against them began.

7. The Turkish Armed Forces realizes that it is facing an organized wretched attack by certain circles. The Turkish Armed Forces is taking the necessary measures against these attacks that are bound to be unsuccessful. The legal organs and the infallible justice of the Turkish people are the biggest assurances of the Turkish Armed Forces against such attacks. As always, our biggest support is the endless love and trust our beloved nation has for the Turkish Armed Forces.

Respectfully presented to the public.
To see coverage from the Turkish Daily News, click here. For the story in Today's Zaman, click here.

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