Ex-president warns coup probers on fair treatment

Ex-president warns coup probers on fair treatment

Ex-president warns coup probers on fair treatment

Former President Süleyman Demirel (L) welcomes the members of Parliament’s Coup Inquiry Commission, who visited Demiral in his residence June 7. During the meeting, Demirel whatever happened in 1997 was done within the boundaries of laws. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Former President Süleyman Demirel has defended the Feb. 28 process, and said that whatever happened in 1997 was done within the boundaries of laws and constitution. He also urged those who are in power now not to create new victims while probing the unfair treatment of the past.

The 11 members of Parliament’s Coup Inquiry Commission visited Demirel in his residence Thursday and interviewed him for four-hours on his experience and information about the coup d’états that took place in 1971, 1980 and 1997.

Demirel is among the names accused of collaborating with the army in its efforts to force Necmettin Erbakan’s government to step down in 1997, although he was one of the sufferers of the military coups of 1971 and 1980. “I would put my signature on it (Feb. 28 National Security Council document) even today,” he said, according to the commission members.

Do not create new victims, Demirel tells panel

Demirel warned the members to be fair to all sides and said, “Today’s unfair treatments will be subject to inquiry in the future as well. Your duty is not to create new victims. All should be solved within rule of law.”

After being questioned on whether foreign powers, particularly the United States, had a direct role in perpetrating the coups, Demirel rejected the idea, underlining that the 1971 intervention was the product of leftists in the army. With regard to the Sept. 12, 1980 coup, however, he said “anarchy was on the rise, we couldn’t stop it” he said.

As a veteran politician who served the country as both president and prime minister, Demirel responded to a members’ question about the existence of the deep state. “There is only one state. This is the Republic of Turkey. But the Turkish Armed Forces are another state, as it staged coups against the elected Parliament,” he stated.

Despite his defense of the Feb. 28 process, Demirel said he was against any sort of military coups against politics. k HDN