Coup chiefs mum toward all questions during trial

Coup chiefs mum toward all questions during trial

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Coup chiefs mum toward all questions during trial

The surviving leaders of Turkey’s bloody 1980 military coup keeps their silence from their beds in a hospital room during the new hearing of a trial.

An Ankara court trying the two surviving leaders of the 1980 coup has ruled to expand the scope of the case and question the General Staff and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) about the “Bayrak” (Flag) action plan, the military’s plan for staging the coup.

The court also asked for information about the incidents that paved the way for the 1980 coup, such as the Bloody May Day of 1977 and the assassination of nationalist politician Gün Sazak.

Absentia of defendants

The 11th hearing of the Sept. 12, 1980, coup case continued yesterday at the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court in the absence of the two ailing defendants. The coup leader, then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Kenan Evren, 95, and then-Commander of Air Forces Tahsin Şahinkaya, 87, are both currently receiving care in a hospital. The pair gave their testimony via an audio-visual conference system, with a delegated judge witnessing their testimonies at the hospital.

Evren, who responded to judges’ questions at the Nov. 21 hearing, refused to respond to all the questions of the intervening party lawyers yesterday.

Lawyers of the Turkish Parliament and government, whose intervening party status were previously accepted, did not ask Evren and Şahinkaya any questions.Some plaintiffs called for Evren to account for their loved ones who were killed or tortured during the coup period.

Evren did not answer lawyers’ questions, only periodically half-smiling and nodding when
asked whether he heard the questions or not.