Ex-Turkish PM says DYP targeted by Feb. 28 coup

She mainly accused the West Study Group of engaging in illegal activities to destroy the DYP.

Ex-Turkish PM says DYP targeted by Feb. 28 coup

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller who testified to an Ankara prosecutor on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation into the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed military intervention, said her party was the main target of the military intervention.

Ankara Public Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili earlier sent a notification to Çiller, inviting her to the Ankara Courthouse to testify in the case as a “victim.”

Çiller flew to Ankara on Tuesday afternoon and gave her testimony shortly after her arrival.

Çiller told reporters that then her party, True Path Party (DYP), was the main target in the Feb. 28 process that toppled the democratically elected government in 1997. The DYP was part of the coalition government led by the conservative Welfare Party (RP) at that time.

Çiller, however, said she hadn't filed additional charges against any individuals or agencies. "Our nation was the victim of this coup," Çiller said, without further elaborating.

On the military coup, she told the prosecutor that she and then Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan had discussed possibility of dismissing the Chief of General Staff and other top military brass, commanders of forces, in that period, the news portal ntvmsnbc.com reported. Their attempt halted when Erbakan told Çiller that then President Süleyman Demirel would highly unlikely approve their move, former PM said in her testimony to the prosecutor, the same news portal added.

Çiller was expected to tell the prosecutor her recollections of the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed military coup, which is often referred to as a “postmodern” coup. She was chairwoman of the DYP at the time.

She mainly accused the West Study Group (BÇG) of engaging in illegal activities to destroy the DYP.

The BÇG was formed within the TSK in order to contribute to the staging of the Feb. 28 coup. The group reportedly categorized politicians, intellectuals, soldiers and bureaucrats in accordance with their religious and ideological backgrounds before and after the coup. The actions of the BÇG are reputed to be at the center of the Feb. 28 investigation.

The military overthrew a coalition government -- the Welfare Party (RP)-DYP government -- on Feb. 28, 1997, citing allegedly increasing fundamentalist activities in the country as the reason. Dozens of people have been arrested as part of the Feb. 28 investigation. Those sent to jail include Gen. Çevik Bir, who is known to have played a major role in the 1997 coup, and retired Gen. Erol Özkasnak, who was the secretary-general of the General Staff at the time.

The military traditionally considers itself the guardian of the secular order in Turkey.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ekim 2012, 11:34