Prime Minister Erdoğan commented for the first time on the arrest of former chief of staff Başbuğ for the first time: “We always hope for a trial without arrest.”
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan commented on the arrest of former Chief of General Staff General İlker Başbuğ for the first time since his detainment. Erdoğan states, "To take the path of trial without arrest instead of the road to remand in custody pending trial, has always been my thesis, and we always hope for it to be this way." Prime Minister Erdoğan hosted his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg at the Prime Ministry building where they met both one on one as well as with committees. During the press conference held after the meeting, Prime Minister Erdoğan stated the following: (In response to a question on Başbuğ's arrest) "A legal process has begun on this issue. It would not be right for me to make any sort of assessment or evaluation on this trial process while it is ongoing. However, this was a colleague of mine who I worked with together for two years as the Prime Minister and him as the Chief of Staff. To take the path of trial without arrest instead of the road to remand in custody pending trial, has always been my thesis, and we always hope for it to be this way. For this situation to quickly come to a conclusion at this point is both my own personal and my party's opinion. Because, we do not perceive this sort of path as a well-directed one." SYRIA IS HEADED TOWARDS RACIST CIVIL WAR: At present, Syria has an administration which atrociously massacres their own citizens. Right now, there is a Syrian administration which has killed almost 7,000 citizens. We share not only a 910 km border but we also have kinship ties. What is forming there right now, is heading towards a religious, sectarian and racist civil war. This must be prevented. If civil war arises that could pose a threat for us.
FRANCE'S GENOCIDE BILL WILL BE DAMAGING: Of course, this issue being brought to the French Senate on January 23rd was something expected. As Turkey, we are continuing to implement the eight item embargo we have previously announced. Other than that, while France continues to exert their reactions, we are going to explain that this is a matter that needs to be dealt by historians rather than parliamentarians, with the collaboration of those who are against the Sarkozy administration's perspective on this issue. We will express our sensitivity to the issue. This is a step entirely directed at the presidential election in May. If there are 500,000 Armenians there, then there are 550,000 Turks. In addition, there are 6.5 - 7 million that are in collaboration with Turks and those that support our theses. Our collaboration with all NGO's still continues. If this process continues, then French-Turkish relations may face serious damage. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdoğan held a dinner at the Prime Ministry's Official Residence in honor of Stoltenberg.