Good luck, ex-President Demirel tells coup panel listening to him
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Standing in a room decorated with his former political party’s symbol, ‘White Reared Up Horse, ex-President Demirel (C) tells a panel Turkey’s history of coups. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZFormer Turkish President Süleyman Demirel wished good luck to a Parliamentary Coup Inquiry Commission listening to his experiences of Turkey’s coup history while promising to attempt to complete his recollections within three hours.
“I wish you luck. You have been charged with a hard task. I will try and conclude what I’m about to say within three hours,” Demirel told the 11-member panel that visited him at his residence in Ankara yesterday. “Be sure that I will do my best to help you in your work.”
The panel, which is led by commission chairwoman Nimet Baş, was established to probe the full 1960, 1971 and 1980 coups and the 1997 and 2007 military interventions into politics.
Demirel, who served as both prime minister and president during a long political career that extended from the 1960s to the late 1990s, said he welcomed the panel’s request to hear his views about the military interventions of the past.
“This is a very complicated issue and has been spread over the last 50 years,” he said. “I am sure your work will be worthy of the name of Parliament.”
Demirel was an active politician during the 1971 and 1980 coups and was among those that suffered during the interventions. During his presidency in 1997, however, he was accused of being part of the plot against Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan’s Islamist government.
The panel is planning to hear more former politicians in the coming weeks, including former prime ministers Tansu Çiller and Mesut Yılmaz.