MHP questions silence on ‘e-memorandum’

MHP questions silence on ‘e-memorandum’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
MHP questions silence on ‘e-memorandum’

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli speaks in his party’s parliamentary group meeting. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lent support yesterday to the probe into the 1997 “post-modern coup” but questioned why the government was mum on the military’s most recent intervention in politics, the so-called “e-memorandum” of 2007.

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to reveal what he had discussed with former army chief Yaşar Büyükanıt at a secret meeting at İstanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace several days after the “e-memorandum” was issued. He suggested that the “e-memorandum” could have been drawn up in collusion between the government and Büyükanıt, stressing that it helped portray the ruling party as a victim and boosted its vote in the 2007 general elections .

“As you know, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a meeting with the Chief of Staff on May 4, 2007 that still remains a mystery. This meeting is shady, and full of question marks. If Erdoğan does not reveal what they talked about during the meeting, then we have no choice but to reach the conclusion that the memorandum released online was a sham,” he said.

Bahçeli called for the speedy conclusion of all coup probes and trials because “because our people are sick and tired of talking about the coups and being stuck in the past.”

The “e-memorandum,” posted on the military’s website around midnight on April 27, 2007, was the first episode in a chain of events that forced early elections. In the statement, the army threatened to step in to protect Turkey’s secular system, after Abdullah Gül became candidate for president. Following his retirement, Büyükanıt publicly said he personally penned the statement. The fact that he has ducked investigation so far has fanned speculation that he is enjoying protection under a deal he made with Erdoğan.