BuLENT – Bad news from Baransu for Balyoz people

Bad news from Baransu for Balyoz peopleJournalist Mehmet Baransu has been re-arrested. Arrested because he was doing his job, because he took risks for the sake of his country, and because he had thrown a wrench into the cogs of the powerful.

No matter what anyone says about him, the fact is that Baransu was arrested as a journalist who had received one of the most prestigious awards in his sector, the Sedat Simavi Award. And in having been arrested, he stands as only the latest victim of an oppressive regime.

Arrested as the latest link in the process during which violations of press freedom and the right to access news have become routine.The Balyoz case is a clear-cut coup case the Supreme Court of Appeals has backed its legitimacy, and definitive punishments have already been rendered in relation to it.

If there is truly a problem with it, every link in the system needs to be taken into account equally. Since the very beginning of the Balyoz case, the media has supported the processing of this case — and we are talking about a media in which the majority sits under government control.

If there is a mistake somewhere, the Justice Ministry — which didnand#39t use its authority to overturn the case — is responsible.The joy that some who oppose the Balyoz case might have otherwise felt, however, was left incomplete when Baransu was arrested.

That is to say, the reason for his arrest was not, as some asserted, andldquofalse evidence,andrdquo or an attempt to andldquotrap.andrdquo To the contrary, he was sent to prison because the documents were real.

Among some of the reasons given was that he presented a flight risk. But since heand#39s been taken in five times already, and since heand#39s never attempted to flee despite the constant expectation that he would be arrested again, this clearly is not very believable.

Baransu was arrested because of the wording of the 327th article in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) that specifies: andldquoAnyone who obtains information that should remain secret because of its nature in relation to the stateand#39s security or in terms of domestic or foreign politics should receive a prison sentence from between three to eight years.andrdquo Let me explain this in clear and simple detail.

In order for Baransuand#39s actions to have been part of a plot, the documents would have had to been fake. But if the documents had been fake, Baransu would have been arrested not because of this article in the penal code, but due to the presentation of false documents.

In other words, those who claim andldquoBaransu was arrested because of a plot,andrdquo are just flat out lying.So, now letand#39s take a look at the documents in question.

In order to really understand this, itand#39s vital to summarize the entire process. The assertion is that, in 2003, when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had newly arrived in power, it was the target of some coup attempts.

The most significant of these was the Balyoz Plan, headed by the then-1st Army Commander Cetin DoIan. DoIan wanted to hold andldquoplanning seminarsandrdquo in the Marmara region, where he was carrying out his duties.

DoIan wanted to work with both domestic and foreign threats, but former Land Forces Commander Gen. Aytac Yalman would only allow the working out of scenarios against foreign threats.

DoIan didnand#39t listen to these orders and talked out scenarios involving domestic threats, mostly focused on a rise in andldquobackwardsandrdquo or andldquoreactionaryandrdquo types, using names not only of various AKP politicians, but also some civilians. In 2010 Baransu made the aforementioned news and the Balyoz also became the subject of a trial like Ergenekon.

The case, of course, brought debate. Gen.

Yalman has put the point at which Turkey arrived in this down to the failure to follow orders, and to instead work with scenarios involving domestic threats. He questioned, andldquoWhy are those who carried out seminars contrary to my orders, and who hid information from me, not being charged?andrdquo He also pointed to Chief of General Staff Ilker Basbug, who was in the position at the time, as being responsible: andldquoIf he had just done his job, these things would not have happened,andrdquo he said.

andldquoIf I had received information in time, I would have prevented this domestic threat scenario from being played out.andrdquoThe scenario that Gen.

Yalman warned about, and which was accepted by the court as criminal, andldquothe Egemen Operation Plan,andrdquo (a secret military operation plan) predicted a foreign threat. Mehmet Baransu was accused of obtaining a secret plan.

Like opposite sides of the same coin, domestic and foreign threats are connected. It is not possible to separate one from the otherIn the meantime, five years have passed since all this.

If Baransu could have taken aantage of documents having to do with a foreign threat, he would have long ago done so. In reality, from the very moment these were revealed, the Turkish Armed Forces changed their plans.

To think anything else would be an insult to the militaryand#39s General Staff headquarters. Otherwise, the arrest of a journalist based on such weak evidence is nothing but another notch in violations against press freedom in Turkey.

And a move that only serves to confirm the perception that Balyoz was a real plan. In other words, you can understand from all this that Baransu has kicked one more goal in the Balyoz supportersand#39 net.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman