Turkey: Army watching 'centres of evil'

JW aug 07

The head of the Turkish army, which played a major role in blocking Mr Gul's first run for the presidency, on Monday warned of "centres of evil" seeking to undermine the country's constitutional regime.

"Our nation has been watching the behaviour... centres of evil who are trying to systematically erode the country's secular structure," Yasar Buyukanit said in a written message Monday, which made no mention of Tuesday's parliamentary vote.

The army will not "be deterred by such attacks," he said.

"The Turkish Armed Forces will not make any concessions ... in its duty of guarding the Turkish Republic, a secular and social state based on the rule of law," Mr Buyukanit added.


"Our nation has been watching the behavior of those separatists who can't embrace Turkey's unitary nature, and centers of evil that systematically try to corrode the secular nature of the Turkish Republic," said General Yasar Buyukanit in a note, posted on the military's Web site.

The military is distrustful of Gul, who served as minister in a banned Islamist party in 1997. It regards itself as the upholder of secularism, on which the state is built, and has overthrown four governments since 1960, the last 10 years ago.