Friday, 10 October 2008

Scandal in Turkish army: Turkish air force chief attacked for directing anti-PKK operation from golf course

For decades Turkey's armed forces have been virtually beyond criticism in a country where the military sees itself as a defender of the modern secular state.

But its status is being questioned after a senior commander was pictured playing golf hours after 17 soldiers were killed in clashes with Kurdish militants.

General Aydogan Babaoglu, head of the air force, took part in a golf tournament in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya last weekend after reports emerged of a deadly attack on a military outpost in Aktutun, near Turkey's border with Iraq, by the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK).

He later claimed to have coordinated, the military's response from the golf course, which included air strikes against PKK bases in northern Iraq and ground manoeuvres inside Turkey. But he only returned to headquarters in the capital, Ankara, on Saturday evening, when the country was deep in mourning. More...

*source: The Guardian; photo - by Today's Zaman, via

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