World Bulletin / News Desk
Recai Kutan, an aide to the former chairman of the now-defunct Welfare Party (RP) and former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, has said several foreign countries, including Israel, had a hand in the staging of the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed military intervention in Turkey.
“Feb. 28 was more organized and better planned than other coups. Countries on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and Tel Aviv contributed to the staging of the Feb. 28 coup,” Kutan stated on Friday as he testified to a parliamentary commission set up to investigate coups.
On Feb. 28, 1997, the powerful military forced a coalition government led by the RP to step down, claiming increasing acts of "religious fundamentalism" in the country.
According to Kutan, the tradition of staging coups in Turkey began in the late years of the Ottoman Empire and continued until Feb. 28. “I hope the era of military coups is over for Turkey,” he said, adding that a lack of compromise among political parties of the time about the election of a new president contributed to the staging of Feb. 28.
“Coup stagers used it [the lack of compromise] as an opportunity to stage a coup. Had political parties reached a compromise, Feb. 28 would not have occurred.”
In addition, Kutan claimed that the activities of the Aczimendi group and its leader, Müslüm Gündüz, were unjustly linked to the RP and the party was held responsible for those activities, which eventually led to the coup.
The Aczimendi group and Gündüz made headlines in the run-up to the Feb. 28 coup when Gündüz was involved in a scandal that shook Turkey. He was arrested by police on Dec. 28, 1996, in a house in İstanbul, where he was found with Fadime Şahin, a 22-year-old female student. The investigation resulted in allegations by Şahin of being shared sexually among the group's leaders. The first indictment into a criminal organization known as Ergenekon claimed this scandal had been purposefully staged to incite public distrust of religious leaders.
King Abdullah II decries ‘dangerous’ US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Suspects are accused of having links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization
Turkish leader wants countries 'who follow international law' to recognize Jerusalem as occupied capital of Palestine
Deputy prime minister’s warnings come in the wake of bitcoin’s skyrocketing value -- up more than 1,600 percent this year
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag slams US for trying to harm Turkey through case against businessman Riza Sarraf
Police launch simultaneous operations across Turkey to capture suspects, including dozens of soldiers and civil servants
Experts say developments in Syria, peace talks in Astana and Geneva will directly affect the country’s political process
OIC should encourage other countries worldwide to recognize East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital, says Mevlut Cavusoglu
Islamic summit in Istanbul will also call for recognition of Palestinian statehood, says Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
Foreign ministers from Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia (MIKTA) will attend meeting
Weakness of Turkish lira not a true reflection of Turkish economy, president says
Last year's attempted putsch was culmination of years of plotting, analysts say
Number of registered vehicles on Turkey's roads reaches over 22 million, according to official data
Despite political fallouts with bloc, most see economic advantage in joining EU
Mircea Lucescu says Besiktas need to keep up 'fearless football' against German powerhouse in Champions League draw
Agrobay aims to become No. 1 tomato exporter by utilizing underground thermal waters