World Bulletin / News Desk
A newly discovered letter written by then-President Süleyman Demirel to then-Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan ahead of the Feb. 28, 1997 military coup shows that Demirel warned Erbakan of the infiltration of state institutions by "religious fundamentalists."
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) issued a memorandum on Feb. 28, 1997, strongly criticizing the government led by Erbakan's now-defunct conservative Welfare Party (RP) and claimed that the government had failed to take necessary measures to fight what the army called “reactionaryism,” or religious fundamentalism. The National Security Council (MGK) made several decisions during a meeting on Feb. 28 and presented them to Erbakan for approval. Erbakan was forced to sign the decisions. He subsequently resigned, handing over the Prime Ministry to his coalition partner, Tansu Çiller.
The letter was among the Feb. 28 documents sent by the Office of the Presidency to Parliament where Parliament's Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission is working to shed light on the Feb. 28 coup.
“Efforts by religious fundamentalist movements to infiltrate state institutions should definitely be prevented. Judicial institutions, the armed forces, universities, police organization, schools, the government, the Religious Affairs Directorate and local administrations should be protected [from these movements],” Demirel wrote in the letter.
The coup investigation commission wrote a petition to the Office of the Presidency and some other state institutions in June asking them to send Feb. 28 documents to the commission.
In the letter, Demirel also said the laws of the republican regime should be implemented carefully to protect the secular order in the country, adding that “threats and dangers against the principles of the republic and the state lead to great disturbance in the society and state institutions.”
Demirel is often accused of turning a blind eye to the activities of an illegal group within the military known as the West Study Group (BÇG) during the Feb. 28, 1997 coup period. The BÇG used to categorize politicians, intellectuals, soldiers and bureaucrats according to their religious and ideological backgrounds. As an investigation is under way into the participants of the Feb. 28 coup, there is mounting pressure for Demirel to be put on trial for his role in the coup.
Turkish dailies reported Wednesday clashes over the demolition of a statue to a PKK founder, indications that Turkey's foreign minister could take over the prime ministerial post and protests over the death of an unarmed black teen in Missouri, the U.S.
Outgoing Turkish President Gul said 'As far as it seems, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will take over as prime minister'
Turkey's year-end growth forecast increased to 2.7 percent, senior economist says.
The Eritrean capital Asmara becomes Turkish national flag-carrier's 42nd destination in Africa
One person has been confirmed dead after clashes broke out when security forces arrived to remove an illegal statue of a PKK leader.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz called for the lifting of an Israeli blockade so power can be delivered to Palestinians.
Currently it is estimated that there are almost a million Syrian refugees in Turkey, about 70 percent of whom live outside the refugee camps.
Turkish dailies on Tuesday reported on the claims that Germany's foreign intelligence agency has been spying on Turkey and protests over the death of an unarmed black teen in Missouri, U.S.
Twenty out of 32 suspects accused of conducting illegal wiretapping detained in Izmir, Istanbul and Yalova.
A UN report also asserted that Ethiopia's low level of economic development, coupled with a heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and high population growth, made the country particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Republican People's Party deputy group chairman Muharrem Ince has announced his intention to stand for the leadership of the party.
The latest ship loaded with northern Iraqi oil left a Turkish port as the amount of oil pumped to Turkey from northern Iraq reached 7.8 million barrels.
Turkey summoned the German ambassador in Ankara over a report that Germany's BND intelligence agency had been spying on its NATO ally for years
Turkish dailies covered German intelligence spying on Turkey and the tragic plight of the Ezidis in Iraq.
A 35-year-old man fired at the embassy building and was immediately caught by security forces.
Midyat refugee camp is set to accept thousands of Yazidis after the completion of medical check-ups.