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Cablegate: Turkish Military Court Issues First Conviction Of

VZCZCXYZ0137
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAK #1154 1351217
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151217Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2100
INFO RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA// PRIORITY
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// PRIORITY
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY

UNCLAS ANKARA 001154

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR TU
SUBJECT: TURKISH MILITARY COURT ISSUES FIRST CONVICTION OF
ACTIVE DUTY GENERAL


1. (SBU) In its first sentencing of an active-duty general
officer, a Turkish military court convicted Third Army
Commander, and previous ISAF Commander, GEN Erdem Erdagi of
misusing his authority by accepting a bribe for the award of
a military construction tender during his 2002 to 2004
command of the 8th Corps in Elazig. Erdagi was fined and
sentenced on May 10 to eleven months and 25 days in prison --
five days short of the 12 month sentence threshold which
carries a penalty of mandatory dismissal from the military.

2. (SBU) Erdagi, who is well-respected for his leadership of
ISAF VII from February through August 2005, was one of
several military commanders -- but the only active-duty
general -- charged together with a number of lower-ranking
officers during a 2003-2004 crackdown on corruption by former
Chief of Staff GEN Hilmi Ozkok. The majority were accused in
military contract award cases. In addition to Erdagi, two
retired general officers were convicted. Former Naval Forces
Commander ADM Ilhami Erdil was accused of directing military
contracts to a firm headed by his daughter and a friend and
for excessive personal spending. Erdil had acquired two
penthouse apartments valued at $1.25M, significantly
exceeding the salary of a general officer. He received a 2.5
year prison sentence, was stripped of military privileges and
his houses were seized. ADM Aydin Gurul was sentenced to
five months in prison for profiting from a military contract.
Both Erdagi and Gurul have appealed the decisions in their
cases. According to press reports, ADM Erdil is serving his
sentence but is preparing to request a review of his case by
the European Court of Human Rights.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: The military investigations begun under GEN
(r) Ozkok were unprecedented in Turkish history. Ozkok, who
was perceived to have a good working relationship with the
ruling Justice and Development Party which rode to power in
2002 in part on a corruption-free image, may have wanted to
demonstrate that the military should be held to that same,
high standard. While GEN Buyukanit, the current Chief of
Staff, might not have instigated such investigations himself,
he is perceived to hold the same high standard for the
military and is expected to uphold the military court
decisions in these cases. END COMMENT.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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