According to Today's Zaman news, an academic arrested on charges of being part of a political crime gang reportedly preparing to overturn the government had previously said the military would stage a coup against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, the Taraf daily reported on Tuesday.
According to the report Ümit Sayın, who is currently in jail pending trial on charges of membership in Ergenekon, a shadowy and powerful neo-nationalist gang that committed politically motivated crimes, during a phone conversation with friends and acquaintances last year said he expected to see a military takeover in March.
Sayın, an academic whose phones had been monitored as part of the investigation into Ergenekon before raids in which dozens of its members were arrested, turned away a friend who wanted to visit him in İstanbul in March, saying a coup d'état was due at the time. In a phone conversation he had with a close friend on Dec. 10, 2007, he told the person at the other end of the line about a conversation he had with Kemal Alemdaroğlu, a former rector of İstanbul University, also a suspect in the investigation. In the recorded December conversation, Sayın quoted Alemdaroğlu as having said, "An immediate crisis is necessary in Turkey, or else the nation will not come to its senses." Alemdaroğlu, according to Sayın's account to the person on the phone, had said, "The nation sold the state for a bag of coal."
The expression refers to the AK Party's campaign of distributing free coal to families in various regions of the country. The AK Party was re-elected to power in July 2007 with 47 percent of the vote.
Alemdaroğlu, according to the recording of Sayın, had also said that some army generals agreed with him that a coup d'état was needed.
"So what are they waiting for?" asked Sayın's friend at the other end of the receiver, to which Sayın replied, "A lot is in store for the next three months ahead of us," suggesting he anticipated a military intervention within three months' time.
In another conversation with someone identified as Orhan Tunç, Sayın said that at some point the head of the Supreme Court of Appeals had come together with the general who is chief of operations at the General Staff. Sayın, in this conversation, said the Turkish Armed Forces would intervene without issuing any memoranda and use the country's three higher courts to get its messages across.
An outrageous statement was also made at the end of this conversation by Sayın, who said he hoped that representatives of the AK Party government, who he said were using democracy to destroy democracy, would be hanged for betraying the motherland. This conversation was held about one month before a prosecutor brought charges against the AK Party for eroding the secularism of the country. One day after that conversation, Sayın said to a person named Esin Ergin that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose deputies voted in favor of the AK Party's presidential candidate Abdullah Gül in a parliamentary vote and later supported a proposal to pass a constitutional amendment to end a ban on the headscarf in universities, would also have to face closure, Taraf wrote.
Taraf's Editor-in-Chief Yasemin Çongar in her column yesterday asked members of the Constitutional Court who ruled that at least 367 deputies have to be present in Parliament for a vote to elect the president to be valid how they could sleep at night. Many experts say the 367 ruling seemed to be invented for the AK Party only. Çongar also claimed that the members of the high court were actually forced to pass the 367 decision to stop the AK Party candidate from being elected to the presidency. She said the generals had threatened a military intervention if the Constitutional Court would not rule in favor of the 367 quorum.
Complaint filed against pro-coup generals
Meanwhile, the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER) on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against former generals Şener Eruygur, retired commander of the Gendarmerie, and Özden Örnek, the retired admiral of the Naval Forces, on charges of "violation of the Constitution."
The complaint filed cited excerpts from the alleged diary of Admiral Örnek published in the Nokta newsweekly last year revealing plans of a coup d'état against the AK Party as evidence that Örnek and Eruygur, whose name is mentioned frequently in the diaries, tried to organize a military takeover during their term in the office. The complaint was filed yesterday afternoon with the Ankara Prosecutor's Office.
Last Mod: 09 Nisan 2008, 12:50