Ten Turkish generals referred to court for arrest in Feb. 28 probe

Ten Turkish generals referred to court for arrest in Feb. 28 probe

Ankara prosecutors have referred ten Turkish generals to court, requesting their arrest for their role in the Feb. 28, 1997 "post-modern coup" that forced a civilian government to resign, Today's Zaman reported.

Specially authorized Ankara Public Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili and accompanying prosecutors referred retired Gen. Engin Alan, retired Gen. Cetin Dogan, retired Lt. Gen. Metin Yavuz Yalcın, Lt. Gen. Vural Avar, former Land Forces logistics commander retired Lt. Gen. Kamuran Orhon, retired Gen. Ahmet Corekci, who served as the air forces commander in the coup period, retired Gen. Teoman Koman, who served as the gendarmerie commander, former head of General Staff Plan and Principles, former National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General İlhan Kılıc, former Land Forces commander retired Gen. Hikmet Koksal to the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court for arrest.

The investigation into the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed military intervention has reached the former commanding echelon of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), with a number of retired force commanders and other generals being taken into custody in the fifth wave of operations on Monday.

However, Alan, Dogan and Yalcın are currently under arrest in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plan case. The Balyoz plan is believed to have been devised at a military gathering in 2003 and allegedly sought to undermine the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in order to lay the groundwork for a military takeover.

The suspects are all accused of playing a major role in the coup, in which the powerful Turkish military forced a coalition government, led by the now-defunct conservative Welfare Party (RP), out of power.

Meanwhile, retired Col. Hakan Cemal Pelit, for whom the court earlier issued an arrest warrant but could not detain because he was abroad, also surrendered on Monday. Pelit was also referred to the court for arrest.

For many observers, Monday's operation has come as a severe blow to the upper echelon of the clandestine West Study Group (BCG) as those summoned to testify are known to be top members of the group. The BCG 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.

Over 50 people have already been jailed during the first four waves of arrests in the Feb. 28 investigation. Those sent to jail include Gen. Cevik Bir, who is known to have played a major role in the 1997 coup, and retired Gen. Erol Ozkasnak, who was the secretary-general of the General Staff at the time. Ozkasnak is also known to have played a major role in the coup generals' communication with the media, which was used in order to put pressure on the government to resign.

The Feb. 28 coup introduced a series of harsh restrictions on religious life with an unofficial but widely practiced ban on the use of the Islamic headscarf. The military was also purged of members with suspected ties to religious groups as well as officers who were simply observant Muslims. In addition, a number of newspapers were closed down after the coup, based on an MGK decision that called for closer monitoring of media outlets.

Among all the suspects taken into custody on Monday, former gendarmerie commander retired Gen. Koman seems to be the most controversial due to his activities during the period he remained in office. He came to prominence shortly after the coalition government led by the RP was swept into power in the 1995 general elections. Speaking to the press around two months after the elections, Koman said, "Even a coup could be staged if they [the RP-led coalition government] continue their activities." With the "activities", the retired general was referring to the alleged acts of fundamentalism sponsored by the RP. On Feb. 28, 1997, the military forced the government to step down on the grounds that there was religious fundamentalism in the country.

Also recently, a secret witness in the Ergenekon coup case, referred to as Kıskac (Pincer), testified to a prosecutor and claimed that the Gendarmerie Intelligence Group Command (JİTEM) -- an illegal unit established inside the gendarmerie to fight separatist terrorism -- was set up by Koman contrary to earlier claims that it was set up by a retired colonel, Arif Dogan. "Whoever says that JİTEM does not exist is a liar. JİTEM was not set up by Dogan. It was set up by Koman. It was an armed group, but was later abolished," the witness reportedly told the prosecutor.

The JİTEM is believed to be responsible for the killing of thousands of people in eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey in the 1990s as part of the fight against terrorism. The Turkish military consistently denied the existence of JİTEM in the past despite a growing body of evidence suggesting its existence.

Koman served as the commander of the gendarmerie between 1995 and 1997 and undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) from 1988 to 1992.

ANAMA disseminates info on missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Kurdamir by Armenia (PHOTO)
ANAMA disseminates info on missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Kurdamir by Armenia (PHOTO)
Situation when significant part of Azerbaijan's territory is lost can't last forever, Vladimir Putin
Situation when significant part of Azerbaijan's territory is lost can't last forever, Vladimir Putin
Russia continues to make active efforts to resolve Karabakh conflict - MFA
Russia continues to make active efforts to resolve Karabakh conflict - MFA
Loading Bars
Latest
Israel says Gazan militants fire 2 rockets into southern Israel
Turkey confirms 2,102 daily COVID-19 patients, 355,528 in total
Moscow records another 62 coronavirus deaths
Trump tests negative for coronavirus ahead of debate: aide
France extends curfew as COVID second wave surges in Europe
Armenians commit provocation during sanctioned protest action of Azerbaijani youth in Poland (PHOTO)
WHO reports record daily rise in coronavirus cases across the globe
ANAMA disseminates info on missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Kurdamir by Armenia (PHOTO)
Car exports to Israel declines, Turkish Trade Ministry
Situation when significant part of Azerbaijan's territory is lost can't last forever, Vladimir Putin
Armenia discloses number of servicemen killed by Azerbaijani army
We already started to plan our future agricultural development with respect of liberation of territories - President Aliyev
Without normalization of relations with Turkey and with Azerbaijan Armenia has no future - President Aliyev
If Armenia makes constructive steps and liberate territories of course, we will open all communications - President of Azerbaijan
Popular Front Party, and Musavat Party going against national interests of Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
With TAP pipeline everything is on the schedule, says president of Azerbaijan
If any country assumes role of mediator, this country must be neutral, says Azerbaijani president
International monitors, peace-keeping forces one of last issues, which had to be addressed - President Aliyev
All the regions of Azerbaijan must be liberated, says President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan is fighting itself, we don’t need any foreign fighters - President Aliyev
There will be no referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh - President Aliyev
If we are attacked, we must not only defend ourselves, but also launch a counter-attack - President Aliyev
Our refugees and internally displaced persons must return to all the occupied territories - President Aliyev
We must have decisive say about international monitors, says Azerbaijani president
If Minsk Group for 30 years cannot produce results, it speaks for itself - President Aliyev
WHO roots for rapid diagnostic tests to boost COVID-19 war in Africa
Kazakhstan to boost export of agricultural products to SCO markets
Int'l organizations informed about rocket attacks on Azerbaijani regions (PHOTO)
Morale of Azerbaijani army personell at high level - Azerbaijani MoD (VIDEO)
With this Armenian government unfortunately, prospects for peaceful settlement very remote - President Aliyev
More military equipment of Armenian armed forces destroyed (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani flag hoisted in Agbend village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Central Bank presents forecasts for Uzbekistan’s macroeconomic dev’t
Kazakhstan, Romania trade turnover increases despite COVID-19
With liberation of Aghband settlement, taking full control over Azerbaijani-Iranian state border ensured - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani Army liberates 3 villages of Fuzuli district, 4 villages of Jabrayil district - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani Army liberates 13 villages, Aghband settlement of Zangilan district - Azerbaijani president
Russia continues to make active efforts to resolve Karabakh conflict - MFA
OIC Parliamentary Union condemns Armenia's attack on Azerbaijan's Ganja
Azerbaijani RabitaBank's assets for 9M2020 grow
Morocco decreases import of Turkish cars
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan to jointly attract funds for transport corridors dev’t in Central Asia
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan agree on resumption of flights
Armenia's tries to present its position as "peaceful" - total nonsense, Azerbaijan says
Iran to offer loans to support industrial production
Isbank Georgia talks about its cooperation with IFC
Restoration of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan - undoubtedly legitimate process - Georgian expert
Adidas plans to sell ailing Reebok business within months
Cargo transportation between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan grows despite decline in int'l trade
Export of cars from Turkey to France down
Yerevan's foreign policy only possible if Armenia accepts it needs to make peace with Azerbaijan - Svante Cornell
Turkish Trade Ministry says export of domestic cars to China up
Georgia sees increase in price of medicines
Turkmenistan’s geographic location offers potential for country’s economy, says US Embassy in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan Rabitabank’s net profit for 9M2020 revealed
National Bank of Georgia takes another steps to stabilize lari exchange rate
Procedure for calculating total amount of insurance premiums approved in Azerbaijan
Turkey's export of cars to US edge lower
Karabakh hostilities cause direct disruption to health care amid COVID-19 - WHO
Import of Turkish cars by Azerbaijan declines
Yerevan must withdraw troops, mercenaries and terrorists from Azerbaijan - Turkish Defense Minister
Azerbaijan reveals data on imports for 9M2020
Germany's nine-month import of cars from Turkey down
Apples emerging as export crop for second year in Georgia
Azerbaijan reveals 9M2020 trade turnover volumes with major partners
Nagif Hamzayev: Azerbaijan writes new pages in the world military history
Turkey's 9M2020 export of jewelry to Ukraine doubles
Azerbaijani artillerymen continue to make precise strikes at firing points of Armenian armed forces (VIDEO)
Tender: Khazar Consortium to buy materials for smooth operation of oil field facilities
Int'l organizations miscalculate military arsenal of Armenia - MP
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of equipment
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
MagtiCom leads with highest ARPU rate in Georgia
New apartments inagurated in Iran
Azerbaijan's overall exports for 9M2020 unveiled
Kazakhstan to increase electric vehicles manufacturing by 2022
CO2 emissions prevented in Kazakhstan as renewable energy projects launched
Revenues of mobile operators in Georgia down
Uzbekneftegaz launches condensate stabilization unit at Uzbek oil field
Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia clarifying issue on prohibiting Azerbaijani citizens to use Pobeda Airlines' services
Uzbekistan launches mineral-based engine oil production
Trend News Agency's editor-in-chief tells CNN Turk about ongoing tension in Karabakh (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Russia almost halves jewelry imports from Turkey
Azerbaijan’s AzerGold taking measures on legal assessment of illegal mining in occupied territories
Azerbaijan starts reconstructing roads leading to liberated villages of Tartar (PHOTOS)
Georgian Caucasus Auto Import adds new export markets
USAID promotes warehouse digitization of Turkmen logistics company
Uzbekistan eyes to increase cars export by 4Q2020
Uzbekistan’s private business actively involved in agriculture digitalization
Sanctions must be imposed on Armenia, says Lebanese legal expert
Attacking civilians unacceptable, Israeli ambassador says
Armenia opens additional flights to transfer volunteers to Karabakh (PHOTO)
Number of people infected with COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeds 550,000
Azerbaijan's president says Armenia receiving external help, including mercenaries, weaponry
Your statements every evening about how many villages, cities have been liberated from occupation bring joy to people all over Turkey - Turkish Chief Ombudsman
Azerbaijan confirms 171 more COVID-19 recoveries
Turkmenistan's import of Turkish jewelry surges
Value of Azerbaijan's goods export by road edges down
Those unwilling to fight in Armenia buy positive coronavirus test at $1,000-2,000
There is not single surviving building in liberated cities, in these villages, in most of them - Azerbaijani president
All news