World Bulletin/News Desk
The Office of the President, the Prime Ministry and the Turkish Parliament have all told an Ankara court hearing the Sept. 12, 1980 coup trial that Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) did not provide them with any intelligence about the military's plans to stage a coup prior to the Sept. 12 coup.
All three institutions sent a response to the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court, which had asked them whether they had been informed about coup plans in 1980, telling the court that there are no documents in their archives showing MİT provided intelligence regarding coup plans.
The fourth hearing of the Sept. 12 coup trial was held at the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court on Friday. Retired general and former President Kenan Evren and former commander of the Air Force Tahsin Şahinkaya -- the two surviving leaders of the coup -- were not in attendance due to health reasons.
There were many people around the Ankara courthouse on Friday, carrying posters featuring the victims of the coup and demanding justice.
Police took high security measures in the area.
The court continued to accept applications for co-plaintiff status at Friday's hearing.
More than 30 years after the Sept. 12 military takeover, the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court last month began hearing the case against 94-year-old Evren, who went on to serve for seven years as president, and the other surviving coup architect, Şahinkaya, 86, for leading the brutal takeover that shaped the country and traumatized the nation for three decades.
The court last month accepted requests from a number of people, political parties such as the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Parliament to be co-plaintiffs in the case. More than 500 people, including representatives from political parties and non-governmental organizations, as well as individuals from the right and left of the political spectrum, are seeking co-plaintiff status in the trial.
The Ankara court last month imposed a travel ban on the suspects and rejected a request for their trial while they are under arrest.
Prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for Evren and Şahinkaya. Turkey witnessed its bloodiest coup d'état in 1980 when Evren and his cohorts overthrew a democratically elected government.
The trial of the coup leaders has been possible thanks a government-sponsored reform package that was approved in a referendum in 2010. Among other things, the reform package annulled a constitutional article that served as a legal shield for coup leaders.
Berfo Kırbayır (104), whose son was killed after he was detained by the gendarmerie during the coup era, was also in attendance as a co-plaintiff in the case. Kırbayır came to the courthouse in an ambulance.
Kırbayır said that just as she managed to come to the courtroom despite her old age and health problems, the suspects in the case should be brought there, too.Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mayıs 2012, 10:52