Turkey’s convicted coup leader Evren treated for Alzheimer’s: Report
DHA PhotoKenan Evren, Turkey’s former coup leader and president, has started receiving Alzheimer’s treatment at a military hospital in the capital Ankara, daily Sabah reported on Feb. 4.
Former Chief of Staff Evren, 97, and former Air Forces Commander Tahsin Şahinkaya, 90, the duo convicted to life in prison on June 18, 2014 as the two key defendants in the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup d’état case, are both being treated at the GATA hospital for other complaints.
Şahinkaya is unable to leave his bed at the hospital.
After their convictions, the Constitutional Court unanimously rejected individual applications filed by Evren and Şahinkaya, which were made on the grounds that the coup leaders suffered “rights violations” during their trial.
The 1980 military coup, Turkey’s third, prompted a wide-ranging crackdown that left deep marks on society. Fifty people were executed, an estimated half a million were detained, many were tortured, hundreds died in prison and many more disappeared during the three years of military rule.
The coup leaders argued they were forced to intervene to restore order after years of chaos, in which an estimated 5,000 people died in factional violence between leftist and rightist groups.
Evren continued to hold the presidency until 1989, after the junta handed the executive power to a civilian government in 1983.
Evren had previously said he would never testify and claimed that he would commit suicide before he could be tried. “I promise in front of my nation that I will not let this matter be dealt with in the courts. I will commit suicide,” he said in 2009, when the idea of a coup trial was discussed.
He later attended the case via a video conference system.