37 suspects released in Feb 28 coup probe
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Former general and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Istanbul deputy Engin Alan is among the names that have been released by the court. DHA photoAn Ankara court released 37 suspects in the Feb. 28 coup probe on June 14, including high-profile names such as former Land Forces Cmdr. Erdal Ceylanoğlu and a former general and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Istanbul deputy, Engin Alan. Another 38 suspects remain under arrest prior to the first hearing of the case on Sept. 2.
The suspects who remain in detention include former Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Çevik Bir; former First Army Cmdr. Çetin Doğan, who is also a suspect in the Balyoz (Sledghammer) coup case; and former National Security Council General Secretary İlhan Kılıç.
A total of 103 suspects will stand trial in the case. Former Chief of General Staff retired Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı is also a top suspect in the case, but had been released on conditions of trial without arrest.
The probe is looking into the relatively recent Feb. 28, 1997 military memorandum that sparked the turmoil that led to the resignation of the ruling Islamist coalition government later that year. The events, which came to be known as the Feb. 28 process, are often referred to as a “post-modern coup.”
The turmoil lasted many months as the military carried out an overt campaign against the coalition government under Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, the then leader of the Welfare Party (RP). The party was banned following a ruling of the Constitutional Court in 1998. Erbakan passed away on Feb 27, 2011 and was buried on the 14th anniversary of the memorandum.
In the final indictment sent to the court on May 22, the prosecutors designated former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller and former Interior Minister Meral Akşener as the leading victims in the case.