Feb 28 probe expanded to education board members

Feb 28 probe expanded to education board members

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Feb 28 probe expanded to education board members

Kemal Gürüz was detained as a part of the Ergenekon probe and later released. Hürriyet photo

A prosecutor has demanded the arrests of four former officials of the Higher Education Board (YÖK), including ex-chief Kemal Gürüz, in the first operation targeting civilians in the ongoing probe into the Feb. 28 post-modern coup of 1997.

Police raided the homes of Gürüz and three former YÖK officials, Kenan Deniz, Sedat Arıtürk and Erdoğan Özmal, on the morning of June 22 in the sixth wave of the probe.

Some 58 active and retired military officers have been arrested in the investigation so far.

Gürüz had not been located by the time the Hürriyet Daily News went to print late June 22, but the three other former YÖK officials were detained and taken to the Police Department.

Öznal, Deniz and Arıtürk, three former four-star generals, served as the military’s representatives at YÖK in the mid-1990s.

In a recent police raid on YÖK’s headquarters in Ankara, law enforcement officers discovered documents that had allegedly been prepared on Gürüz’s orders and which consisted of personal information about numerous academics.

Gürüz was known for his hard-line opposition to female students wearing headscarves in universities during his term.

The post-modern coup, also known as the “Feb. 28 process,” refers to a harsh army-led campaign that forced Turkey’s first Islamist prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, to resign in June 1997 after just a year in office. The process took its name from the Feb. 28, 1997, meeting of the National Security Council (MGK), at which Turkey’s then-omnipotent military imposed a series of tough secularist demands on Erbakan that were mainly aimed at curbing Islamic education in the face of what was perceived to be a growing threat to Turkey’s secular system