Turkish Parliament to investigate April 27 e-memo besides other coups

The e-memorandum came amid a political crisis over the election of the country's president in 2007.

Turkish Parliament to investigate April 27 e-memo besides other coups


World Bulletin / News Desk

A parliamentary commission set up to investigate coups that resulted in the overthrow of elected governments in Turkey has decided to investigate the April 27, 2007 e-memorandum besides the past four coups d'état, a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy announced on Tuesday.

The commission decided last week to establish three sub-commissions for the investigation of the May 27, 1960; March 12, 1971; Sept. 12, 1980; and Feb. 28, 1997 coups. Some members of the commission, who are deputies of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said a fourth sub-commission needed to be set up to investigate the April 27 e-memorandum. However, members of the commission from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) opposed this, saying the e-memo did not have a negative impact on Turkey like the coups, and therefore, it needn't be investigated in Parliament.

The e-memorandum came amid a political crisis over the election of the country's president in 2007. In the document, the General Staff threatened “action” if the AK Party government did not do more to preserve the republic's secular tradition. Many say the General Staff had hoped to unseat the government with the e-memo. Former Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt declared in 2010 that he had written the statement.

The commission convened on Tuesday for a new round of talks on the establishment of a new sub-commission to investigate the e-memo. After a heated debate, the commission decided that the e-memo be investigated in Parliament but a separate sub-commission will not be established to investigate it. Instead, a sub-commission set up to investigate the 1997 coup will investigate the e-memo, too.

The e-memorandum mainly targeted the AK Party after its decision to nominate then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül, whose wife wears a headscarf, as a presidential candidate. The military believed that a headscarved first lady would threaten the secular order in Turkey. The AK Party government gave what many people called a courageous response to the statement, telling the military it was an institution at the command of the government.

During the talks, CHP İstanbul deputy Süleyman Çelebi criticized the AK Party government for failing to take the “required action” against the April 27 e-memorandum. “You [AK Party deputies] say the government stood up against the e-memorandum, but standing up against it is not enough. You should have taken action against the e-memo, but you did not. The prime minister keeps asking what other political parties were doing at the time when the General Staff issued the April 27 memorandum. I reacted to the memorandum as the president of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions [DİSK] on the morning of the e-memo,” Çelebi asserted.

 

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mayıs 2012, 16:22

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