Coup leader Kenan Evren to stand trial

Coup leader Kenan Evren to stand trial

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Coup leader Kenan Evren to stand trial

Evren previously said he preferred to commit suicide rather than go on trial. AA photo

An Ankara court has accepted an indictment filed against 1980 coup leaders Gen. Kenan Evren and Gen. Tahsin Şahinkaya yesterday. 

The pair will be put on trial for “attempting to dissolve the Parliament of the Turkish Republic through use of force,” and “attempting to overthrow the government through use of force.”

A prosecutor had asked double life sentences for each suspect on the given charges.

Evren came to power after the coup and served as Turkey’s seventh president from 1982 to 1989.

Five army generals took power in 1980 but Evren and Şahinkaya are the only ones who are alive today.

An Ankara prosecutor said last week it had prepared the indictment whose approval is expected to bring Turkey closer to coming to grips with its coup-filled past.

Turkey has endured three military coups -- in 1960, 1971 and 1980 -- but the military’s political influence has waned since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took office in 2002.

A package of government-led amendments adopted in a 2010 referendum paved the way for the trial of those responsible for the military takeover.

Turkey’s 1982 junta-made constitution reserved an article that exempted the former generals from any trial.N