CHP wants probe into April 27 memo
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish military tanks go through the Sincan district of Ankara on Feb 5, 1995. Hürriyet photo
The main opposition party has requested the immediate investigation of a military intervention into politics in 2007 after reports emerged that a probe had been launched into a military campaign in 1997 that forced the Islamist prime minister at that time to step down.
“I wonder why prosecutors do not investigate the military memo issued on April 27, 2007,” Akif Hamzaçebi, deputy parliamentary group leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told reporters at a press conference yesterday. “The AKP [Justice and Development Party] should immediately address this issue.”
When asked about the prosecutors’ initiative to launch a probe on the Feb. 28 process, Hamzaçebi said he was sure that the AKP knew what it was doing, without further elaborating.
The investigation was launched following a number of individuals and civil society organizations filed criminal complaints on the military’s actions in 1997 that pushed Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to step down. The process is widely known as the Feb. 28 process, or post-modern coup, and was run by a number of top military figures, such as former Chief of General Staff İsmail Hakkı Karadayı and force commanders, retired generals Çevik Bir, Erol Özkasnak, Doğu Aktulga, İlhan Kılıç and others.
Erbakan, who became the country’s first Islamist prime minister in elections in late 1996, entered a coalition with Tansu Çiller, then head of the True Path Party. As the tension between the government and the military escalated over Erbakan’s party’s alleged attempts to undermine the secular order, the military warned the government to be loyal to the founding principles of the Republic. In a show of force, tanks proceeded through residential areas in the capital, signaling to the government that it could also stage a coup. Erbakan was pressured to resign from his position a few months after tensions mounted.