Feb 28 neither modern nor post-modern coup: Karadayı

Feb 28 neither modern nor post-modern coup: Karadayı

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Feb 28 neither modern nor post-modern coup: Karadayı

Ex-head of YÖK Kemal Gürüz has been arrested as part of the ongoing Feb 28 probe. DHA photo

İsmail Hakkı Karadayı, who was the chief of the General Staff during the so-called “post-modern” coup that forced the resignation of Turkey’s first Islamist prime minister in 1997, said that Feb. 28 process was “neither coup nor post-modern coup but an initiative within the limits of law,” the Hürriyet the Daily News has learned.

“[Feb. 28 process] was neither coup nor post-modern coup. This was the result of mistakes that were made at the time. Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan’s statement of ‘Will this big transformation be bloody or bloodless?’ terror activities of Hezbollah, Aczmendi’s (an extremist Islamic group) march, anti-secular activities put Turkey into trouble. Government did not take necessary measures against all of those. Feb. 28 was an initiative within the limits of law,” Karadayı reportedly told Parliament’s Coup Inquiry Commission members.

The commission heard former Interior Minister Meral Akşener and Karadayı yesterday at Parliament’s office of Dolmabahçe Palace in İstanbul.

Akşener reportedly said that capital holders provoked the military for the post-modern coup, and they achieved a “short-term success.” Karadayı, for his part, asserted that there were no kinds of military intervention during the Feb. 28 process. He argued that rolling of tanks in the streets of Sincan district of Ankara in 1997 following an Islamic gathering organized by the local municipality was a “routine activity,” claiming that the West Working Group (BÇG), a group legally formed within the General Staff to fight against religious fundamentalism, was never existed.

The 1997 military memorandum refers to the decisions issued by Turkish military leaders at an National Security Council (MGK) meeting on Feb. 28, 1997, which initiated the Feb. 28 process that precipitated the resignation of former Prime Minister Erbakan of the Welfare Party and the end of his coalition government. Because the Erbakan government was forced out without the dissolution of Parliament or suspension of the Constitution, the event has been labeled a “postmodern coup” by members of the military who were involved in the process.

In the meantime, former head of the Higher Education Board (YÖK) Kemal Gürüz was arrested yesterday as part of the ongoing prosecution over the Feb. 28 probe.