Three generals arrested in Feb 28 coup probe, bringing arrest total to 11
Retired general Orhan Yöney, arrested on Feb. 13, was sent on Feb. 14 to Sincan Prison near Ankara. AA photo
Three more retired generals were arrested Feb. 16 in the latest wave of a probe investigating the “post-modern coup” of Feb. 28, 1997, after eight other retired generals were arrested earlier this week.
Upon a petition from Ankara's chief prosecutor, the court ordered the arrest of Aydan Erol, Şevket Turan and İsmail Ruhsar Sümer, while three retired generals – Atalay Efer, Mustafa Özbey and İzettin Gürdal – were released under probationary conditions.
Former Air Force Cmdr. Ergin Celasin was also questioned earlier in the day. However, the prosecutor decided not to bring charges against Celasin after his four-hour-long testimony at the Ankara Court House. Celasin was the general secretary of the National Security Council (MGK) at the time of the coup.
Eleven retired generals have now been arrested as part of the case in the last few days.
The court had ordered the arrest of Ayhan Cansevgisi, Refik Zeytinci and Metin Yaşar Yükselen on Feb. 14. The previous day, Orhan Yöney, Köksal Karabay, Hayri Bülent Alpkaya and Altaç Atılan were arrested. Four other retired generals were released under probationary conditions.
The post-modern coup, or the Feb. 28 process, refers to a military intervention that forced late ex-Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign in 1997. Suspects who have been detained so far in relation to the Feb. 28 investigation have been sent to court on charges of "attempting to annul the government of the Republic of Turkey; or attempting to partially or entirely block the government from performing its duties."
"The judiciary is fulfilling its own duty and, as the executive [body], we are doing our part," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Feb. 14 in response to reporters' questions about developments in the ongoing investigation.