Since last Thursday's National Security Council (MGK) meeting - the longest MGK meeting in the history of the Turkish Republic - lasting 10 hours and 25 minutes, Gülen Movement-affiliated media outlets have persistently published news claiming that soldiers challenged political authority at that meeting and objected to the president who wanted to include the "parallel structure" in the Red Book - Turkey's top national security document. They mean that it is not true that the state apparatus is hostile to the parallel structure, Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and other state institutions are on our side and only the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is against us.
Can it be true? After all, was it not the same structure that attacked the TSK most harshly during the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials? Can the Gülen Movement's current claim that soldiers side with this structure that acts autonomously within the state under its own hierarchy be partly true? Does the General Staff really object to the threat of the parallel structure being included in the Red Book?
In the evening of Friday, Oct. 31, I happened to be in the same place as a high-ranking official from the General Staff and I asked him these questions. Upon my insistence, I persuaded him to write his answers on condition of anonymity.
The official told me this about the issue of the Red Book:
"It's us who said first that the shadowy structure presently called "the parallel organization" and its leader pose a threat to the Turkish Republic. For that reason alone, the same organization has unjustly jailed many colleagues through plots. Given that, how can we oppose the struggle against this parallel structure when our president and government are so determined? No foreign power could match the damage inflicted to our army by the parallel structure. The struggle against the parallel structure is a state policy because it directly targets the Turkish Republic. At present, all state institutions are working together in this struggle and this process will proceed resolutely.
What about the parallel structure's inclusion in the Red Book?
"Note that the National Security Policy Document called the Red Book is formed directly by the Prime Ministry. As General Staff, we do not have any power over what to include in or remove from that book. In other words, our objection cannot prevent anything from being included in it. The parallel organization's media outlets deliberately publish such news to make us fall afoul of the government. We know what they are trying to do. Loyalty to the government of the Turkish Republic is our primary duty as the General Staff. If the Prime Ministry asks for our advice, however, we will convey it. The right and the power to update the Red Book rests with the Prime Ministry and the president approves it. That the issue was discussed at the MGK meeting shows that all state institutions act together. With the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) elections on Oct. 12, a majority of our judiciary also adopted the necessary stance against the parallel organization. I think the Prime Ministry will update the Red Book within this month and include this threat in it."
What will change with the inclusion of this threat in the Red Book?
"In that case, both the General Staff and all other state institutions are under a legal obligation to carry out this struggle. There is no legal obligation at the moment, but all units continue the struggle against the parallel structure as ordered by the government. Upon the inclusion of this threat in the Red Book, it will become unlawful in itself to not struggle against the parallel organization or to prevent this struggle. With that move, the parallel structure will be rooted out from within and outside of the state in rapid succession. It's because this book is the secret constitution of the state."
That's the General Staff's view on the issue of the Red Book. Regardless of lies from Gülenist circles to themselves and their base, there is considerable agreement within the Turkish Republic regarding the struggle against the parallel structure. With the upcoming update of the Red Book, it will be written in it that this structure, which is led by the Pennsylvania-based retired imam Fethullah Gülen, is a primary threat to Turkey.