‘Post-modern coup’ condemned on 16th anniversary
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency / Anatolia News Agency
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. AA PhotoTurkey has come a long way in the last decade since the Feb. 28 process, or the so-called “post-modern” coup, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said, condemning the event at a panel titled “Thousand-Year-Old Coup: Feb. 28.”
Arınç also shared a key point in his personal history, reiterating how he became a politician in favor of EU membership after witnessing the Feb. 28 process.
In Çankırı, AKP deputy İdris Şahin, spokesperson for Parliament’s Coups and Memorandums Inquiry Commission, touched upon the long-term impacts of the Feb. 28 process, which he called extraordinary.
“In 1960 and 1980, coups led to a process that de facto toppled the process in Parliament. However, the psychological movement that had begun with the Feb. 28 process continued after Feb. 28, strengthening and leading to very grave psychological traumas for our nation until the 2010 referendum,” Şahin said.
The Feb. 28 coup was a crime against humanity, deputy chair of the AKP Süleyman Soylu said in a conference titled “Looking at Turkey from Feb. 28,” in the southwestern province of Isparta.
“Some say it was not a coup. I say, clearly, this was indeed a coup. Comparing it to the 1971 military memorandum is unjust and does an injustice to history; it is ignorant before history,” Soylu said.
Turkey’s European Union Minister Egemen Bağış also said Feb. 28 is being remembered with shame.
Bağış said Turkey learned lessons from those days and developed reforms on the way to the European Union, adding that Turkey lost $400 billion because of that “dark period.”
Meanwhile, police intervened in a group of students who protested a “Feb. 28 symposium” held in Istanbul University, using pressurized water and pepper gas on the group of 30 students.
On Feb. 28, 1997, Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) warned the Erbakan-led Welfare Party (RP) government “not to stray from the path of democracy and official secularism.” Erbakan resigned June 18, 1997 after denying signing a package of 18 measures that effectively constituted a crackdown against his own grassroots voters and aimed mainly to curb Islamic education.