World Bulletin / News Desk
Hüseyin Kocabıyık, advisor to former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller, said retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, the former head of the 1st Army, was behind the Feb. 27, 1997 unarmed military intervention, often referred as "postmodern coup".
The retired general is currently standing trial as a prime suspect in the Sledgehammer coup case. He is accused of a failed attempt to overthrow the government. Prosecutors are demanding up to 20 years in prison for Doğan.
Kocabıyık also said Doğan contributed to the establishment of the Western Work Group (BÇG), which categorized politicians, intellectuals, soldiers and bureaucrats during the Feb. 28 process in according to their political and religious tendencies.
“Doğan wasted his energy and [military] ability on coups and coup plans. I saw Doğan in every phase of the Feb. 28 coup. But no one talked about him. However, he was the man behind everything at that time,” he stated. His remarks came on Tuesday during a TV program on TRT Haber.
Kocabıyık also said some news stories prepared on orders from the Turkish military that eventually led to the military intervention were planned by Doğan. “Doğan committed a crime against the Constitution,” he added. The news stories are usually referred to as “andıç,” a Turkish word meaning “memorandum.”
According to the Sledgehammer plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in Turkey through acts of violence including planned bomb attacks at the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in İstanbul. The objective of the alleged plot was to undermine the government in order to lay the groundwork for a coup d'état.
"Attack on PM by intel agency"
Kocabıyık also argued that an attack on former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz in Budapest was organized by intelligence groups.
Yılmaz was the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP, now ANAVATAN) at the time. He was attacked by a man in a hotel in Budapest in 1996 after an official visit to Germany. The assailant, who was captured a few days after the assault, said he was a nationalist and carried out the attack due to Yılmaz's remarks against Abdullah Çatlı, an ultranationalist criminal who died in the 1996 Susurluk car crash, which exposed links between the Turkish state, the criminal underworld and Turkish security forces.
“Yılmaz was fighting against gangs at the time. His aim was to become prime minister. The attack against Yılmaz was planned by intelligence groups,” he said.
"Pressure on salary rise"
Kocabıyık also argued that former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan increased salaries for soldiers upon receiving a phone call from retired Gen. Çevik Bir, a former deputy chief of General Staff.
Erbakan is the founding father of the "Milli Görüş", National View, a deep-rooted Islamist political movement in Turkey.
“Accompanied by a group of members of the military, Bir phoned Erbakan. He told Erbakan to increase salaries for soldiers; otherwise, he would issue a statement against his government,” he noted.
In 1997 the army forced the Islamist-led coalition of Erbakan to resign on the grounds that he was "steering Turkey toward religious rule."
Shocking remarks from ex-PM's aide on Turkey Feb. 28 coup
Hüseyin Kocabıyık, advisor to former PM Çiller, said retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, the former head of the 1st Army, was behind the Feb. 27, 1997 unarmed military intervention.
World Bulletin / News Desk