World Bulletin/News Desk
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has completed preparations of an indictment regarding the Feb. 28, 1997 postmodern coup.
The indictment has been submitted via the National Judiciary Network Project (UYAP). Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili, who is involved in the investigation of the Feb. 28 coup, has said he will call a press conference to share details of the indictment with the public later this week.
On Feb. 28, 1997, the powerful military forced a coalition government, led by the late Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, to step down, citing allegedly rising religious fundamentalism in the country. Erbakan subsequently resigned, and his Welfare Party (RP) was shut down by the courts.
The Feb. 28 coup brought about a series of severe restrictions on religious life, including an unofficial but widely practiced ban on the use of headscarves by women on university campuses and in positions of public service.
According to news reports, the sole civilian suspect in the indictment is former Higher Education Board (YÖK) President Kemal Gürüz.
Currently, there are 76 suspects under arrest pending trial as part of the Feb. 28 investigation. Gürüz is among them.
The remaining 75 suspects are retired and active duty members of the Turkish military. All suspects will stand trial on charges of overthrowing the government by force and preventing it from performing its duties.
Sources claim that retired Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı, who was chief of General Staff at the time of the Feb. 28 coup, has been named as the number one suspect in the indictment. Karadayı was detained in January for his role in ousting the government on Feb. 28.
A prosecutor who questioned the former military chief demanded that he be arrested, but the court to which Karadayı was taken released him pending trial on certain conditions. Karadayı, currently being kept under “judicial supervision,” is required to check in at a police station every week and is prohibited from leaving the country.
Among the other major suspects in the investigation is retired Gen. Çevik Bir, the deputy chief of General Staff at the time of the 1997 coup. Bir is currently in jail pending trial. He is known to have prepared a memorandum that targeted journalists and institutions during the days of the coup that resulted in the intimidation of many individuals or their termination from their jobs.
Gen. Yalçın Ataman, the 1st Army commander, is also among the major suspects. The general testified to prosecutors as part of the Feb. 28 investigation in March. Although a prosecutor demanded his arrest, a court released Ataman pending trial.Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2013, 11:47