World Bulletin / News Desk
The spokesman of the parliamentary Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission has announced that the commission will hear the testimonies of media bosses and newspaper editors-in-chief who served at the time of the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed coup as part of its investigation into the coup.
The commission's spokesman, İdris Şahin, who is also a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy, said the commission will hear the testimonies of the leading media bosses of the Feb. 28 period, including Aydın Doğan, Turgay Ciner and Dinç Bilgin. The commission will also hear the testimonies of editors-in-chief of popular newspapers of the period, such as Fatih Çekirge, Zafer Mutlu and Ertuğrul Özkök.
Şahin said the commission will invite those people to testify to the commission in October when Parliament returns from its summer recess. Şahin also said the commission plans to hear the testimonies of several other prominent figures of the Feb. 28 coup who are currently under arrest on various charges. “We will visit those people in prison and hear them,” he said.
The Turkish military overthrew a coalition government -- the Welfare Party (RP)-True Path Party (DYP) government -- on Feb. 28, 1997, citing allegedly increasing fundamentalist activities in the country as the reason. The military traditionally considers itself the guardian of the secular order in Turkey.
On Tuesday, the Star daily reported that an investigation of the parliamentary Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission has shown that roughly 90 percent of loans provided by the big banks of Turkey in the run-up to the Feb. 28 coup were transferred to a number of private companies that ran popular media organs.
Earlier this month, the commission began examining reports showing loans provided by several banks as well as bank account activities of certain actors in the Feb. 28 coup. Halk Bankası and Ziraat Bankası recently sent the commission such reports. After examining the reports, the commission will decide if those actors made financial gains during the coup period. The reports include the accounts of politicians and top military officers and bureaucratic officials at the time. However, the commission has not provided the public with the names of the individuals whose bank account activities from the Feb. 28 period have been sent to the commission.
The Feb. 28 coup wrought havoc on observant Muslims, in particular, who were subjected to a series of rights violations and profiling efforts by the military and the state
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