New roundup in coup case

New roundup in coup case

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
New roundup in coup case

On the fourth wave of the Feb. 28 probe, law enforcement officials conducted raids in nine provinces across Turkey including Ankara’s military Fevzi Çakmak lodgings. AA photo

Law enforcement officials conducted raids in nine provinces across Turkey as part of the ongoing investigation into the “postmodern” coup of Feb. 28, 1997, with detention orders issued for 17 retired and active duty officers and one retired worker.

The Deputy Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued the detention orders in tandem with raids conducted into 15 locations in nine provinces yesterday.

Among the suspects whose detentions were ordered by the specially authorized Deputy Chief Prosecutor’s Office were Ret. Lt. Gen. Mustafa Býyýk, Ret. Mj. Gen. Muhittin Erdal Þenel, Ret. Lt. Gen. Hakký Kýlýnç and Ret. Mj. Gen. Muhittin Temel Özkasnak, according to reports.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arýnç said he would be pleased as a victim of the Feb. 28 process if the affair was called to account in a court of law, but also cautioned against a prolonged investigation.

“I say let us wait for the investigation to conclude. I think, however, if this investigation drags on for too long, it will not positively affect the public’s conscience. Whatever there is with respect to this investigation, it must be done as soon as possible, and the affair ought to be made more conspicuous,” he said.

The Feb. 28 process deserves attention, Arınç said, as it represents a coup d’etat against an elected government. “As one of the actual victims of this matter, it would only please me if the process was called to account by the judiciary as an object lesson,” he added.

Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin also said the probe into the postmodern coup was a process being followed through by the prosecutors in accordance with the needs of the case file.

“We are going to keep watching the process patiently until it reaches a finale,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kemal Kýlýçdaroðlu, the leader of the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP), sharply criticized the Turkish General Staff in a speech he delivered yesterday.

“In the past, there was the National Security Council (MGK) that used to determine those who presented a danger. Now, there is the government of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) that determines who presents a danger. Even worse than the General Staff issuing an announcement is the government lending its backing to them. The new CHP will answer in no time to whoever issues an announcement. Everyone ought to know their proper place. Everyone ought to fulfill their own duties within a democracy,” he said.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), also called for the investigation to be continued until it ran its natural course.

“I am of the opinion that [this investigation] ought to be continued until these waves [of detentions and arrests] come to an end and the waters fall still, so that this event and others like it finally drop off Turkey’s agenda,” Bahçeli said.