Coup leaders must be tried as example: Gül
Deniz Zeyrek DUBAI / Radikal
President Abdullah Gül. AA photoTurkey needs to make a judicial example out of the two surviving architects of the 1980 coup to serve as a deterrent against future military takeovers, President Abdullah Gül told reporters yesterday in Dubai.
The true importance of trying Gen. Kenan Evren and Gen. Tahsin Şahinkaya lies in deterrence, Presidet Gül said. “The [trials] show the kind of country Turkey has turned into. Everyone ought to know their [proper] area [of authority], their constitutional limits. No one is going to arrogate any de facto powers to himself.”
Last month, an Ankara court accepted an indictment to try Evren and Şahinkaya for their role in the 1980 coup. The trial against the pair will begin April 4.
Coups were committed in the past when the perception was that the state of things would never change, Gül said, adding that such trials were significant in preventing a repeat of such events.
Gül also rebuffed a journalist who inquired about a photograph of the president with Evren in the Çankaya Presidential Palace.
“Regardless of whatever you have to say, is he not a former president? He represented Turkey for all that time,” Gül said, adding that the laws would determine whether or not Evren, who was Turkish president from 1980 to 1989, ought to be tried at the Supreme Council, the name assumed by Turkey’s Constitutional Court when it oversees a criminal case.
Meanwhile, Gül said the continued imprisonment of eight deputies did not indicate the presence of a problem between the judiciary and the legislative branch, he said.
“Of course, this is a problem of ours that is definitely awaiting a resolution. There are various lawsuits filed against elected deputies. As such, they could not take the [Parliamentary] oath and start their [term of service]. [Finding] a solution to this [matter] is undoubtedly important,” Gül said.
Gül also reiterated earlier statements and said judicial processes should be expedited and that arrest periods should not be turned into actual penalties.
The democratic initiative has also never faded out of view, Gül said, adding that Turkey had to solve the problem in order to gain a stronger position on the world stage.
The president vehemently denied the existence of any semblance between Turkey’s Kurdish issue and the “Arab Spring.”
“Issues that everyone complains about should undoubtedly fade away through the raising of our democratic standards. It would only honor us for our citizens to exercise their rights as in the most developed countries,” he said.
If problems had not been tarnished through terrorism, Turkey’s democratic standards could have been elevated with much greater confidence, Gül said, adding that people who believed they could gain their rights through terrorism had dealt the greatest damage to the country’s civil standards.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s family has not requested asylum from Turkey, Gül said, but added that it would be considered if such a request were made.