World Bulletin/News Desk
An Ankara prosecutor has presented his indictment to the 13th Ankara Criminal Court, requesting that 103 senior
Turkish army officers be sentenced to life in prison. The court has 15 days to consider the indictment.
Private broadcaster NTV named retired and serving officers among the 103 mostly generals, charged in the 1,300-page indictment completed by Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili.
The defendants are being charged with participating in the overthrow of an elected government by means of force.
It said the indictment named the prime suspect as General Ismail Hakki Karadayi, chief of general staff between 1994 and 1998.
Another defendant is the former land forces commander, General Erdal Ceylanoglu, believed to have ordered tanks onto the streets outside Ankara before the military intervention.
The events of 1997 were dubbed the "post-modern coup" as the generals used pressure behind the scenes to force Erbakan from power, in contrast to the direct intervention of three outright military coups in Turkey in 1960, 1971 and 1980.The coup introduced a series of bans for pious people.
The parliamentary Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission has indicated that the US State Department sent a cable to the US Embassy in Ankara in 1996 telling embassy officials to convince the Turkish military to take action against the government of the time.
The parliamentary commission prepared a report about the Feb. 28, 1997 military coup, which contained the cable, which was labeled confidential and urgent and sent to the US Embassy in Ankara.
This message, which bears the signature of then-US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, said: “We are deeply concerned about the prime ministry of Necmettin Erbakan. The Turkish military should be convinced to take action.”
The cable also stated that the US I was very much concerned about Erbakan having close relations with Arab and Muslim countries. The encrypted message was also reportedly sent to the US missions in Athens, Beirut, Moscow, Sofia and Geneva. The message says Turkey's aim to strengthen relations with Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Sudan ran contrary to US national interests.
The cable also accused the True Path Party (DYP), Erbakan's coalition partner, of failing to moderate Erbakan's pro-Islamic discourse that having a coalition government with RP seemed unfruitful.
“We believe that [True Path Party (DYP) leader] Tansu Çiller's withdrawal from the coalition government will lead to the fall of the Erbakan government, paving the way for early elections in the country. Although this is not certain, the RP will return to power stronger than before,” the cable said.
Before his death, Erbakan talked about the controversial US cable and said the Feb. 28 intervention took place after orders from the United States.Last Mod: 22 Mayıs 2013, 18:02