Arrested colonel in Feb 28 case dies in hospital
‘He was so unfortunate that he could not live to be retired. His only crime was to be a soldier’ says Haşimoğlu’s wife, Makbule Haşimoğlu (L). AA photoColonel Mehmet Haşimoğlu, the first soldier on duty to die during the February 28 trial, passed away at GATA military hospital on Aug. 14. Haşimoğlu’s wife, Makbule Haşimoğlu, held the “psychological war” against soldiers responsible for the death of her husband. “His only crime was to be a soldier,” she said yesterday at her husband’s funeral. The court had issued a decision to release Haşimoğlu due to his poor health.
Haşimoğlu was on duty when he was arrested in the “third wave” operation of the February 28 investigation conducted by the Specially Authorized Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office.
By a Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) decision, he had not been promoted to general. His military career ended due to quota restrictions, but he was still in the military according to his legal papers. He was set to be legally retired by the end of August, but lost his life first.
Haşimoğlu spent his last moments at GATA military hospital. GATA had requested his release due to his poor health, and the decision was taken on Aug. 10, but by then he was in the intensive care unit and did not learn of the decision.
Speaking to reporters before the funeral, the colonel’s wife said how proud she was to be a part of Haşimoğlu’s family. “My husband was fully healthy. I handed him over to the prison fully healthy. He had no health problems at all. He had many missions in the east and southeast. He was so unfortunate that he could not live to be retired. His only crime was to be a soldier. He is accused for his work during the February 28 process. He was a major at that time, and he was fighting against terror. He became sick with grief. This is a psychological war. We lost that war. The most important things for him were his nation, family and pride.” He was one of six active duty and five retired military personnel imprisoned three months ago as part of the latest wave of the investigation of the Feb. 28, 1997 “post-modern” coup. He developed an illness in his gall bladder due to stress a month after being arrested, said Kıymet Gülderen, a close friend of the colonel’s wife. Gülderen said: “Haşimoğlu had no illnesses before his imprisonment. He underwent an operation at GATA military hospital for a health problem he developed in the prison. Unfortunately, he lost his life. He couldn’t handle being in prison. This man is not guilty of a single thing.” The commander of the Ankara garrison, Lt. Gen. İhsan Uyar, attended the funeral.