Court of Cassation upholds life imprisonment of 14 defendants in Feb 28 trial
The Court of Cassation has upheld the prison sentences given to 14 defendants, including retired General Çevik Bir, the then-chief of General Staff, and retired General Çetin Doğan, the then-chief of General Staff Operations, in the Feb. 28, 1997 trial.
The court concluded his appeal review of the Feb. 28 case. In the decision of the chamber, it was stated that the decisions taken at the National Security Council meeting on Feb. 28, 1997, with the support of some non-governmental organizations, as well as press organizations, universities, trade unions, capital circles, civil bureaucracy and the judiciary, were imposed on the government and an elected government was rendered dysfunctional.
In the decision it was stated that the defendants Ahmet Çörekçi, Aydan Erol, Cevat Temel Özkaynak, Çetin Doğan, Çetin Saner, Çevik Bir, Erol Özkasnak, Fevzi Türkeri, Hakkı Kılınç, İdris Koralp, İlhan Kılıç, Kenan Deniz, Vural Avar and Yıldırım Türker had joint dominance over the execution actions of the crime. They were held responsible as “accomplices” for the crime of “forcibly dismissing the delegation of deputies of the Republic of Turkey executive committee or forcibly preventing them from performing their duty” in Article 147 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 765 in force at the time of the incident.
The chamber upheld the life sentences for these 14 defendants.
The bloodless “post-modern” coup, known as Feb. 28, led to the toppling of the country’s first Islamist head of government, the now-defunct Welfare Party’s (RP) Necmettin Erbakan, after a parade of tanks passed outside Ankara and an ultimatum put to Erbakan forced him to resign, following a National Security Council (MGK) meeting on Feb. 28, 1997.