Friday, March 16, 2012

Adil Erdoğan. Captain, Turkish Land Forces



I.  Name:  Adil Erdoğan
II.  Rank:  Captain
III.  Country Served:  Republic of Turkey
IV.  Service:  Turkish Land Forces
V.  Conflict:  War in Afghanistan (Global War on Terrorism)
VI.  Related News Items:



From CommonDreams.org:



Bloody Week in Afghanistan Continues; 16 Die in Helicopter Crash

Karzai, Afghans Want to Punish Solider who Allegedly Murdered 16 Civillians

- Common Dreams staff
A violent and chaotic week in Afghanistan continued today as a Turkish military helicopter, on a NATO mission, crashed into a house, leaving 4 Afghan civilians and 12 Turkish soldiers dead. Military officials are investigating the cause of the crash. Turkey soldiers are serving in a "non-combat" role in Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press. "It is a grave accident. Our grief is deep," said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
A Turkish military helicopter crashed into a house in Afghanistan today. Four Afghan civilians were killed, in addition to 12 Turkish soldiers. (Photo: AP)The accident is just the latest disaster to hit the war-torn country in recent days. Earlier this week a US soldier allegedly massacred civilians, including nine children in Kandahar province on Sunday, straining US relations with the Afghan government and the people.  Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked US military forces to withdraw from villages and the Taliban has dropped out of peace talks with NATO. Karzai and many Afghan civillians want the soldier who is alleged to have commited the murders to be tried in Afghanistan, but he has since been flown to the United States."This has been going on for too long. You have heard me before. It is by all means the end of the rope here," Karzai told reporters.

* * *
A series of blunders by the United States, including the killings in Kandahar province on Sunday and the inadvertent burning of copies of the Koran at a NATO base last month, has further strained already tense relations between the countries.
"This has been going on for too long. You have heard me before. It is by all means the end of the rope here," Karzai told reporters at the heavily fortified presidential palace.
Flanked by senior officials, a tired and sometimes angry Karzai listened to village elders and the families of victims of the massacre, and dressed somberly in black for the start of an expected two days of talks to discuss the killings.
Some at the meeting shouted, some demanded answers, but all said they wanted any soldiers involved punished.
"I don't want any compensation. I don't want money, I don't want a trip to Mecca, I don't want a house. I want nothing. But what I absolutely want is the punishment of the Americans. This is my demand, my demand, my demand and my demand," said one villager, whose brother was killed in the nighttime slaughter.
Furious Afghans and lawmakers have demanded that the soldier responsible be tried in Afghanistan, but despite those calls, the U.S. staff sergeant was flown out on Wednesday.
"The army chief has just reported that the Afghan investigation team did not receive the cooperation that they expected from the United States. Therefore these are all questions that we'll be raising, and raising very loudly, and raising very clearly," Karzai said.
Karzai appeared to back the belief of the villagers, and many other Afghans including the country's parliament, that one gunman acting alone could not have killed so many people, and in different locations some distance apart.
"They believe it's not possible for one person to do that. In (one) family, in four rooms people were killed, women and children were killed, and they were all brought together in one room and then put on fire. That one man cannot do," Karzai said.

* * *
The US military did not cooperate with the Afghan team dispatched to investigate the massacre of 16 civilians by a rogue American army sergeant in Kandahar province, the Afghan president has said.
The accusations came as Hamid Karzai met in his palace on Friday with distraught families of victims of last week’s incident as well as tribal elders.
"The Afghan government didn't receive cooperation from the USA regarding the surrender of the US soldiers to the Afghan government," Karzai said.
Lieutenant General Sher Mohammed Karimi, chief of the Afghan army who led the investigation into the massacre, told the gathering that his delegation did not receive the full cooperation they expected.
He said that despite repeated requests from high-level Afghan officials, including the minister of defence, to meet with the accused soldier, they were not granted access by US generals.
Karimi said he wanted to ask the soldier  whether he acted alone, or was part of a team, as has repeatedly been claimed by tribal elders.
The soldier was flown to Kuwait on Wednesday, and is expected to arrive in a military prison in the US as early as Friday, according to reports.
John Henry Browne, the soldier's attorney, told US media the accused would be held at a maximum security detention facility at a US military base in Kansas.
* * *
A Turkish military helicopter crashed into a house near the Afghan capital Friday, killing 12 Turkish soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground, officials said.
It was by far the deadliest incident involving Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan, where they have a noncombat role.
The helicopter, a Sikorsky, was on a mission for U.S.-led NATO forces when it went down near Kabul, the Turkish military said in a statement.
"Twelve of our military personnel on board were martyred," it said.
There was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash, NATO said.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the helicopter was one of two that took off on Friday.
"Unfortunately, the one in front came down for an unknown reason," he said.
He said there were officers and noncommissioned officers on board.

From The Wall Street Journal:

MILITARY FUNERALMILITARY FUNERAL: Mourners attended the funeral of U.S. Army National Guard Maj. Robert Marchanti II at Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday. Maj. Marchanti, of Maryland, was fatally shot in an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, in February that the Taliban said was retaliation for the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
SOMBER CEREMONYSOMBER CEREMONY: A man mourned in front of a portrait during a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday. A Turkish helicopter crashed into a house on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, killing 12 Turkish soldiers and Afghan civilians. (Adem Altan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)



From World Bulletin:


11:47, 20 March 2012 Tuesday
Turkey pays final respects to soldiers killed in Afghan crash - UPDATED
(AA)

Turkey pays final respects to soldiers killed in Afghan crash - UPDATED
Funeral services was held for 12 Turkish soldiers who were killed in a helicopter crash after an official ceremony was held in Ankara with the attendance of top state officials.


Funeral services were held on Tuesday for 12 Turkish soldiers who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week after an official ceremony was held in Ankara with the attendance of top state officials.
The official commemorative ceremony for the soldiers began early on Tuesday at the 4th Army Corps Command in Ankara.
President Abdullah Gül; Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who cancelled his trip to Germany after receiving news of the crash; Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu; main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu; and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel as well as top military officers attended the ceremony. The families of the soldiers were also present at the ceremony.
The plane carrying the bodies of the soldiers, among whom were nine officers, two non-commissioned officers and one specialized sergeant, landed at Ankara's Etimesgut Military Airport around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday. The bodies were then taken to the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK). Five of the soldiers were buried at the Cebeci Military Cemetery in Ankara after a funeral service at Ankara's Kocatepe Mosque.
President Gül and other top state officials were present at the funeral prayer, led by Religious Affairs Directorate President Mehmet Görmez, for the five soldiers.
High-level state officials conveyed their condolences to the families of the soldiers during the funeral and shared in their grief. The bodies of the other seven soldiers were sent to their hometowns for burial from the Etimesgut Military Airport.
Tears, prayers and grief dominated both ceremonies on Tuesday morning and the funeral services at Kocatepe Mosque. Many among the large crowd of people who attended the official state ceremony at the 4th Army Corps Command could not hold back tears as the soldiers' children ran to the coffins to bid their fathers farewell.
A Turkish military helicopter crashed into a home near the Afghan capital on Friday, killing 12 Turkish soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground. It was by far the deadliest incident involving Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan, where they play a noncombatant role.
The helicopter, a Sikorsky, was on a mission for US-led NATO forces when it went down near Kabul, the Turkish military said in a statement. Iran, the US and Afghanistan have extended their condolences to Turkey over the incident.
The names of the soldiers killed in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Friday are as follows: Maj. Mithat Çolak, Maj. Şükrü Bağdatlı, Maj. Serkan Doğan, Maj. İsmail Cem Yakınlar, Cpt. Adil Erdoğan, Commanding Sgt. Maj. Salih Helvacı, Commanding Sgt. Maj. Mehmet Akbaş, Spc. Sgt. Önay Vurucu, Cpt. İlker Aydın, 1st Lt. Murat Yıldız, 1st Lt. Tahsin Barutçu and 1st Lt. Okan Melikoğlu.
Turkish opposition leaders have begun questioning Turkey's presence in Afghanistan following Friday's incident.
Turkey, the Muslim nation with the highest number of troops and civilian workers in NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), has some 1,650 troops in the country. It ranks eighth in providing the most troops to ISAF. ISAF was established by the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 20, 2001.
Cihan



Funeral Services for Turkish Soldiers killed in Afghan Crash


Published Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:44 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad

Funeral services were held on Tuesday for 12 Turkish soldiers who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week after an official ceremony was held in Ankara with the attendance of top state officials. The official commemorative ceremony for the soldiers began early on Tuesday at the 4th Army Corps Command in Ankara. President Abdullah Gül; Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who cancelled his trip to Germany after receiving news of the crash; Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu; main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu; and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel as well as top military officers attended the ceremony. The families of the soldiers were also present at the ceremony. The plane carrying the bodies of the soldiers, among who were nine officers, two non-commissioned officers and one specialized sergeant, landed at Ankara's Etimesgut Military Airport around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday. The bodies were then taken to the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK). Five of the soldiers were buried at the Cebeci Military Cemetery in Ankara after a funeral service at Ankara's Kocatepe Mosque.
President Gül and other top state officials were present at the funeral prayer, led by Religious Affairs Directorate President Mehmet Görmez, for the five soldiers.
High-level state officials conveyed their condolences to the families of the soldiers during the funeral and shared in their grief. The bodies of the other seven soldiers were sent to their hometowns for burial from the Etimesgut Military Airport.
Tears, prayers and grief dominated both ceremonies on Tuesday morning and the funeral services at Kocatepe Mosque. Many among the large crowd of people who attended the official state ceremony at the 4th Army Corps Command could not hold back tears as the soldiers' children ran to the coffins to bid their fathers farewell.
A Turkish military helicopter crashed into a home near the Afghan capital on Friday, killing 12 Turkish soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground. It was by far the deadliest incident involving Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan, where they play a noncombatant role.
The helicopter, a Sikorsky, was on a mission for US-led NATO forces when it went down near Kabul, the Turkish military said in a statement. Iran, the US and Afghanistan have extended their condolences to Turkey over the incident.
The names of the soldiers killed in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Friday are as follows: Maj. Mithat Çolak, Maj. Şükrü Bağdatlı, Maj. Serkan Doğan, Maj. İsmail Cem Yakınlar, Cpt. Adil Erdoğan, Commanding Sgt. Maj. Salih Helvacı, Commanding Sgt. Maj. Mehmet Akbaş, Spc. Sgt. Önay Vurucu, Cpt. İlker Aydın, 1st Lt. Murat Yıldız, 1st Lt. Tahsin Barutçu and 1st Lt. Okan Melikoğlu, according to AP.
Turkish opposition leaders have begun questioning Turkey's presence in Afghanistan following Friday's incident.


From TOLONews.com:


News - Afghanistan








The bodies of the 12 Turkish soldiers killed on Friday in Afghanistan were flown to Turkey after a funeral ceremony in Kabul Regional Command on Saturday.

A Turkish military helicopter crashed into a house in Bagrami district of Kabul on Friday morning, killing all 12 of the Turkish Nato-led soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground.

Nato said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cancelled his planned trip to Germany to await the return of the bodies, expressing his condolences to the families of the 12 soldiers.

It was the deadliest incident involving Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan, where they have a noncombat role. The death brings to 14 the number of Turkish soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2003.

Turkey has around 1,845 troops in Afghanistan, most of them based in Jawizjan and Wardak provinces.
Turkey, the Muslim nation with the highest number of troops and civilian workers in NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), has some 1,650 troops in the country. It ranks eighth in providing the most troops to ISAF. ISAF was established by the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 20, 2001.


Turkey mourns helicopter crash victims
ANKARA - Daily News with wires

DHA photo
DHA photo
Turkey has held a funeral ceremony for 12 soldiers killed in a helicopter crash near Kabul, the Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was among hundreds of mourners honoring the victims in the somber ceremony on Tuesday. Religious ceremonies were also held in mosques.

The Sikorsky helicopter crashed into a house near the Afghan capital March 16, killing the 12 soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground. It was the deadliest incident involving Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan.

NATO said there was no enemy activity in the area and the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Turkey has about 1,800 troops in Afghanistan and leads NATO operations in Kabul province. The force has suffered relatively few casualties because of its noncombat role.

Dismissing opposition calls for a review of Turkey’s involvement in Afghanistan, a senior Justice and Development Party (AKP) official said the soldiers had died in “an accident that could have happened in Turkey” and not in combat action against the Afghan people.





From Today's Zaman:

Media faces discrimination at Turkish troops' funeral

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(Photo: AA)
20 March 2012, Tuesday / FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK, İSTANBUL
A tearful goodbye has raised serious question about the freedom of the press in Turkey. On Tuesday, Turkey bid farewell to 12 of its soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan last week. The funeral was a time for the nation to become united over the pain of losing its sons; however, a long-standing General Staff practice which refuses to give accreditation to some TV stations and newspapers to cover military funerals of the soldiers killed in battle has overshadowed the spirit of unity and raised fears about the freedom of the press in the country.
The General Staff on Tuesday prevented a number of media outlets from covering the funeral of 12 soldiers at a military facility in Ankara
Reporters from newspapers such as Zaman, Yeni Akit, Bugün, Taraf and Birgün as well as TV stations like Samanyolu TV, Samanyolu Haber, Bugün TV, Kanaltürk, Ülke TV and the Cihan news agency were not allowed to enter the 4th Army Corps Command in Ankara, where the funerals of the soldiers were being held. The media outlets were denied accreditation by the General Staff. Zaman and Today's Zaman daily reporters Ali Ünal and Emre Soncan were also denied entry to the area.
Today's Zaman contacted the General Staff about the practice and was told that an explanation would be made available, but no statement was provided by the time Today's Zaman went to print. Some other journalists from media outlets out are discriminated against who came to the area with the hope that the General Staff may allow them to cover the funerals were disappointed when they were denied entry to the Gen. Eşref Akıncı Military Barracks in Mamak, where the funerals were held. The journalists went to the Kocatepe Mosque to cover the funeral there later in the day as there were no restrictions on the press there.
The General Staff has long been imposing a media accreditation ban on a number of TV stations and newspapers, including Today’s Zaman, since the Feb. 28, 1997, military intervention, known as the postmodern coup. The coup resulted in the toppling of the coalition government led by the now-defunct Welfare Party (RP) and introduced a wide range of bans on the media and social life in the country. The discriminatory accreditation practice of the General Staff is strongly criticized not only by its victims but also by the European Union, as it runs contrary to the principle of the rule of law and freedom of the press.
Zaman Deputy Editor-in-Chief Mehmet Kamış said he thinks discriminating against people due to their beliefs and lifestyle does not befit an institution such as the TSK. Kamış added that Zaman has the highest circulation of any newspaper in the country and does not need the approval of any institution when it has so much public support behind it.
“What matters to us is not the TSK’s disapproval of us but rather that our right to have access to a news source is being violated. With a circulation of 1 million, Zaman does not need to be approved by any institution. When the entire country is mourning for the soldiers, it is very thought-provoking that the TSK must waste time on an outdated and discriminatory practice,” he told Today’s Zaman.
Metin Yıkar, editor-in-chief of the Samanyolu Haber news channel, a TV station which has for many years been unable to receive TSK accreditation, told Today’s Zaman that it is really difficult to understand why the TSK continues this practice even in times such as funerals of soldiers killed in battle, when the entire nation is in mourning.
“These are the sons of this nation and our channel is a channel of the nation. Samanyolu Haber news bulletins reach out to 5 million viewers each day. It is one of the most popular TV channels in the country, and countless research has proven its trustworthiness and objectivity. For the love of the nation, it is impossible to understand the TSK’s refusal to accredit this channel,” said Yıkar.
The journalist called on the General Staff to end this discriminatory practice, which he said deals a heavy blow to freedom of the press.
“If a media or press organ does it job of informing the nation in accordance with the law, it should be allowed to do so. I really do not know what the TSK’s answer will be when we ask it about the reason for not accrediting our channel,” added Yıkar.
The General Staff refuses to announce its criteria for accreditation for journalists and says those who abide by press ethics and principles are given accreditation.
Alper Görmüş, a media critic and a journalist from the Taraf daily, said it is unacceptable for a state institution to discriminate against the society, a part of which he said is the media. “This is an unjust and wrong practice. It is hard to understand,” he said of the General Staff’s accreditation practice, adding that it is based on daily and tactical decisions rather than on any principles. According to Görmüş, the General Staff’s accreditation practice is not only against the principles of democracy but also opens to debate the seriousness of a big state institution such as the TSK.
“Although the TSK from time to time accepts it is wrong in instituting this practice, it continues to make this same mistake over and over again,” he noted.
In a move which raised hopes the TSK may totally give up its discriminatory accreditation practice, former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ invited reporters from the Star and Yeni Şafak dailies, which were previously not given accreditation, to participate in a meeting in 2008. Nevertheless, the restrictions on other newspapers and TV stations, such as Zaman, Bugün and the Kanaltürk TV station, continue.
As the product of the Feb. 28, 1997 military intervention, Bugün daily Editor-in-Chief Erhan Başyurt said the General Staff’s accreditation practice is totally anti-democratic and based on subjective assessments rather than predetermined criteria. “It is saddening that this practice still continues today. This shows that there are still remnants of the post-modern coup which need to be cleared away,” he said.
When asked about the problems faced by his daily due to the military’s restrictions on his staff, he said this practice creates problems in their access to news sources; however, he said it is the TSK, more than the discriminated media outlets, which is damaged by this practice, as it hurts the institution’s relations with the public the most.
Turkish people strongly condemned the General Staff when a general refused to bring a Cihan news agency reporter down from a mountain by military helicopter in freezing cold weather in 2009 because the journalist did not have press accreditation from the General Staff.
Cihan reporter Lütfi Akyurt faced this discrimination while covering the tragic death of Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazııoğlu and five others in a helicopter crash in the mountains of the southern province of Kahramanmaraş in March 2009.
The incident, which received extensive coverage in the media, led to public outrage, with many describing it as “inhumane.”
Salih Memecan, president of the Media Association, said it is very shameful that the General Staff has retained its discriminatory practice against certain media institutions, which he said are all credible institutions. “This practice is against the public’s right to have access to information. And a solution to it has been delayed,” Memecan told Today’s Zaman.
The General Staff’s insistence on its discriminatory accreditation practices at Tuesday’s funeral ceremony was also the target of criticism on social media.
Kanaltürk news manager Tarık Toros wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday: “I am not an enemy of the military, I suffered much at the hands of the military, but I did not develop hostile feelings about it, but the military does not give accreditation to my friends, it does not allow them to enter its doors. Do you know, on this day, when our 12 martyrs have been bid farewell, some news teams were not allowed in the Army Corps Command? I just want to ask who has hostile feelings against whom?”
In the meantime, a search on Tuesday by terror and bomb experts of Samanyolu Haber news station’s outside broadcast vehicle as it was waiting outside the Gen. Eşref Akıncı Military Barracks spurred reactions from the channel’s news team because no other such trucks were searched.



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