More retired generals in jail for ‘coup plans’
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Retired generals arrested in the probe into ‘Feb 28 process’ are taken to prison. AA photoA special court in Ankara has ordered that six out of 10 suspects in the latest stage of the probe into the “post-modern coup” of 1997 will be kept in jail.
The six retired generals were put behind bars late May 28 after they were questioned by prosecutors.
Four other suspects rounded up in the fifth wave of detentions were released. Those who were jailed included former Air Force Commander Ahmet Çörekçi, former Land Forces Commander Hikmet Köksal, the former head of the National Security Council (MGK), İlhan Kılıç, and Ret. Generals Metin Yavuz Yalçın and Vural Avar, as well as Ret. Gen. Çetin Doğan, who was already behind bars as the suspected mastermind of the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot.
The judicial authorities released former Gendarmerie Commander Teoman Koman on health grounds, along with two other suspects, Ret. Gen. Kamuran Orhon and Ret. Col. Hakan Cemal Pelit. Ret. Gen. Engin Alan, who was elected to Parliament from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) last year, would also have been released had he not already been in pre-trial detention as part of the Balyoz case.
The prosecutor’s office had announced that nine retired soldiers would be questioned, but another person was later added to the list.
MGK members under arrest
With this round of the probe, all of the soldiers who sat in on the momentous MGK meeting on Feb. 28, 1997, except for then-Chief of General Staff Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı and the then-assistant to the MGK’s general secretary, Necdet Timur, have been questioned. At the 1997 meeting, the military imposed a series of tough secularist decisions on Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan that eventually led to his resignation in June of that year.
More than 70 retired and active-duty soldiers have been questioned as part of the probe so far.
Fifty-seven of them have been placed in pre-trial detention. Those who were questioned in the most recent wave are also known to be among the leaders of the West Working Group (BÇG), which was set up within the General Staff to monitor and counter religious fundamentalism.