Victims of the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed coup have voiced strong support for an ongoing investigation that will focus on civilian collaborators involved in the coup.
According to the victims, the investigation will not be considered “complete” if it does not investigate the unlawful activities of civilian collaborators at the time of the coup. “I believe that the investigation will focus on some media members and businessmen of the time. Those collaborators assisted the coup-plotters to make their dreams [of a coup] come true,” said Şevket Kazan, who served as justice minister in the Refahyol coalition government that was forced by the powerful military to resign in what was the Feb. 28 coup. Kazan spoke to a Turkish newspaper on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office submitted an indictment concerning the coup to a high criminal court in the capital. The 1,300-page document focuses on the military actors in the coup. The prosecutor's office said the investigation into the coup has not yet been concluded and that it will also focus on civilian collaborators in the coup.
Following the Feb. 28 coup, not only were fatal blows dealt to fundamental rights and freedoms but democracy and the rule of law were also suspended. The coup introduced a series of harsh restrictions on religious life, including an unofficial but widely practiced ban on the use of the Islamic headscarf at public institutions and universities.
In 2012, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the military participants in the coup. There are currently 75 suspects in jail pending trial on coup charges. Four additional suspects fled abroad and another 24 are not under arrest pending trial.
Human Rights Association (İHD) President Öztürk Türkdoğan said the Feb. 28 coup changed Turkish political life. “In order for a coup not to be experienced again, civilian collaborators of the time in addition to the military actors should be investigated. All of Turkey's dark moments should be investigated. The [ongoing Feb. 28] investigation should focus on the financial and media dimensions of the coup as well as the military aspect,” he noted.
The indictment of the military actors in the Feb. 28 coup lists 103 defendants accused of overthrowing the government. The document calls for life in prison for all defendants. Former Chief of General Staff retired Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı is referred to as the number one defendant in the indictment. Among other top defendants named are former Deputy Chief of General Staff retired Gen. Çevik Bir, former 1st Army Commander retired Gen. Yalçın Ataman and former Secretary-General of the General Staff retired Maj. Gen. Erol Özkasnak.
Former National Police Department intelligence unit chief Bülent Orakoğlu, one of the victims of the unarmed coup, said the coup actors received huge support from the media. “If civilian collaborators in the coup are not investigated, then the investigation will not be a complete success,” he stated. Orakoğlu is listed as a complainant in the indictment. There are 437 other complainants listed as well.
Sources say prosecutors involved in the Feb. 28 investigation have prepared a list of civilian collaborators in the Feb. 28 coup and plan to summon them for testimony soon.
Former National Intelligence Organization (MİT) agent Mahir Kaynak said civilian collaborators were very well organized and had huge financial power that they used to reshape the country at the time of the Feb. 28 coup. “They were financially powerful. They had the control of the media in their hands. Some administrators of media outlets and writers played a major role in the staging of the coup. They should be investigated as part of the Feb. 28 probe,” he added.
The Feb. 28 coup not only dealt blows to politics and social life in the country but also to the economy, resulting in the loss of a substantial number of assets. According to official data, the state had to pay $142 billion in compensation for losses that the Feb. 28 coup caused. The coup led to the collapse of several banks, and economic measures implemented following the coup undermined an already-struggling Turkish economy.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 25 Mayıs 2013, 12:14