Turkish government hails coup probe, opposition concerned
This file photo shows Kenan Evren (L), the leader of the 1980 military coup, speaking to Çevik Bir, who was Evren’s aide-de-camp at the time of the coup. AA photoThe government has hailed the police operation targeting military figures involved in the so-called “Feb. 28 process” as another move to strengthen Turkish democracy, while the main opposition raised concerns that authorities have acted with a “sense of revenge.”
Turkey is standing up against periods of its past when democracy was derailed, said Minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin.
“I hope our democracy will gain an institutionalized, uninterrupted stability. That’s what these efforts aim for,” he said.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that “facing up to its recent past will boost Turkey’s respectability.”
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu leader of the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said he did not object to those who have committed unlawful acts answering for them, but also that he did not trust the judicial system.
“There’s no justice in Turkey. You cannot serve justice with a sense of revenge,” he said. “The special authority courts are the judicial arm of the [Justice and Development Party] AKP. These are operational courts. They perform the decisions of the government. Justice cannot be secured with these courts.”
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ slammed Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks, rejecting the claim that authorities acted with any sentiment of revenge. He said the CHP leader was contradicting himself, as he had previously called for a probe into Feb. 28.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç praised the probe as evidence that Turkey was standing up to military coups. “We are witnessing the end of the era of military coups,” he said. However, Arınç also called on the judiciary “to be careful on issuing arrest warrants” during the investigation.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Group Chair Oktay Vural urged the judiciary to consider “the political dimension of the Feb. 28 process,” recalling that the AKP was founded by those who left the Virtue Party (FP), which was the successor of Welfare Party (RP) at the time.
“Who left their party upon the requests of the architects of the Feb. 28 process, saying that ‘We should form a new political mentality’? The political dimension of this process should be considered. Those who prepared the basis for a new political structure should also testify. The President and the Prime Minister can inform us about the results of political engineering, I think,” Vural said.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Group Chair Hasip Kaplan suggested that unsolved murders should also be included in the probe.
“This process should be examined in all its dimensions. Unsolved murders from the 1990s and other dark incidents should be examined,” Kaplan said.
The Felicity Party (SP), successor to RP, also hailed the probe, while calling for the inquiry to be extended.
“The real actors of the process should be tried. The military was used as a tool and certain parts of the media were used as triggermen during the Feb. 28 process … Internal actors of Feb. 28 were the bosses, whose exploitation system was suspended with balanced budgets. The external actor of the process was global imperialism,” a party statement said.