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.
Mevlut Cavusoglu comments after Crimean Tatar leader detained by Russian security forces.
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency said the program included officers from Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Palestine.
Representatives of France, Germany and the UK meet with their Iranian counterparts as part of ongoing talks process.
Humanitarian Relief Foundation has appealed against the International Criminal Court’s decision to not investigate Israel's deadly raid on Mavi Marmara in 2010.
Turkey’s natural gas imports for 2015 are projected to reach 52.2 billion cubic meters.
Sixth World Forum on Energy Regulation to begin in Istanbul on May 25, 2015.
Representatives from Iran and three big European Union countries involved in negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program are set to hold a fresh round of nuclear talks.
Turkey may be a very useful counterpart for Poland's ambitious construction sector, Turkish minister says
Southern Cilvegozu border crossing remained shut since Monday after random gunfire from Syria's Bab al-Hawa border gate.
Turkish dailies on Thursday focused on Wednesday's hearing at the European Court of Human Rights on an Armenian "genocide denial" case plus new labor reforms introduced by the Turkish PM.
Israel says Turkish criticism inappropriate at Holocaust memorial service
Case was referred to European Court of Human Rights last June following Swiss conviction.
Turkish Statistical Institute releases results of 2014 Address-based Population Registration System.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has visited Turkmenistan to boost bilateral cooperation.
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag calls reports by international organizations regarding Turkish journalists being jailed for journalism "a smear campaign."