The Turkish military has tried to end all speculation it is undermining the government, and is accusing in turn others of seeking to divide the armed forces.
The country’s top General Ilker Basbug was especially angry with a liberal daily’s accusations last week; “We see this piece of paper as a smear campaign to weaken the military. I give my guarantee as the chief of the Turkish armed forces. Civilian courts have to find out who was behind the document.” The ruling AK party and the military have strained relations and a series of scandals about supposed army consipracies against the AK’s moderate Islamism have marked the last decade. Several retired and serving officers have been arrested in a seperate coup lot allegation. In the last 50 years the army has removed three governments, but its public influence has waned as the AK party has applied liberal reforms in Turkey so it complies with future EU membership.