Five more released in Feb 28 trial, no arrested suspect left

Five more released in Feb 28 trial, no arrested suspect left

A Turkish court has released five more arrested suspects from prison in the ongoing Feb. 28 trial, including retired general Çevik Bir, who orchestrated the events that unfolded on Feb. 28, 1997, widely known as the “post-modern coup” that unseated Turkey’s first-ever Islamist prime minister.

Thus suspects who were arrested as part of the Feb. 28 case have been released, in which the case involved a total of 103 suspects facing accusations of “overthrowing the Turkish government by force” are giving their testimonies to the court in the trial, which began Sept. 2.

The released suspects include top figures such as then-leaders of the West Working Group (BÇG), which was set up within the General Staff to monitor and counter religious fundamentalism, Çetin Doğan, and Erol Özkasnak, who described the events of Feb. 28 as a “post-modern coup.”

However, Doğan will remain behind bars since he was convicted to life imprisonment in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup case.

The bloodless “post-modern” coup is known to have 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.