6th Army Corps accused of implementing abolished protocol

Published 25.10.2010 11:11

A protocol that allowed the military to carry out domestic operations without the approval of civilian authorities, which was abolished earlier this year, has risen from its grave in the 6th Army Corps Command, the Bugün daily claimed yesterday.

The Protocol on Cooperation for Security and Public Order (EMASYA), which allows operations and intelligence gathering in cities without the approval of the civilian administration, was abolished on Feb. 4, 2010, following much controversy and debate when a colonel referred to it as a legal basis for an alleged coup attempt. EMASYA, signed by the General Staff and the Interior Ministry on July 7, 1997, empowered the military to intervene in social incidents on its own initiative. In accordance with EMASYA, the military could gather intelligence against internal threats. Bugün claimed that colonels İhsan Tavazar and Emin Erim on Oct. 7, 2010 sent a confidential order notice to all units in the corps, saying the protocol will still be applied despite its abolishment. The order also demanded information on the status of Rapid Deployment Forces in all units, the current status of all detachments and military sketches of every city in the Mediterranean region. However, the real surprise was that the head of the 6th Army Corps is none other than Gen. Mehmet Eröz, whose signature appears below the protocol that overrode and abolished EMASYA on Feb. 4. The daily also wrote that there was speculation suggesting that the resurrection of EMASYA in the 6th Army Corps could be in preparation for a coup d'état attempt. This speculation included claims there were provocative events being planned in the cities of Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep and that army units acting under EMASYA would intervene once these plans are put into effect. The daily also recalled that a vehicle used to shoot at police officers in the Hatay-Dörtyol area -- followed by ethnic clashes in the city -- was stolen from a local politician shortly after that person had a meeting with officials from the 6th Army Corps. In the incidents that followed the attack on the police officers, the police had to call in the gendarmerie to control the crowds. Bugün said that this also indicated that the Hatay-Dörtyol region, which it referred to as an "ethnically sensitive area," is still being treated according to EMASYA provisions. The daily also noted that Gen. Eröz, who was head of the General Staff Operations Command at the time of the signing of the protocol that abolished EMASYA, had been implicated in an investigation into hundreds of websites allegedly prepared by the military to disseminate negative propaganda against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government. As far back as 2002, Turkish lawmakers and bureaucrats had deemed EMASYA illegal. Along with the exposure of the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) plan last year came a new wave of criticism of EMASYA, with increasing numbers of public figures calling for the protocol's cancelation, following which the protocol was abolished.

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