A court in capital Ankara on Tuesday issued its detailed verdict in the 1997 “postmodern” coup case, specifying the acts for which 21 convicts were handed down life sentences.
Among the 21 convicts given life terms were former military chief Ismail Hakki Karadayi, his deputy Cevik Bir, former First Army Cmdr. Cetin Dogan and ex-National Security Council Secretary General Ilhan Kilic; the 5th Heavy Penal Court in Ankara had acquitted 68 others in the case.
According to the detailed court order, some of the defendants were found guilty of the crime of making secret alliances to harm the government. A link between the resignation of the government and the actions of the defendants, who are mostly from the military, was also established, it said.
The court concluded that former military chief Karadayi, who was handed down a life sentence in April, was involved in the downfall of the then government.
It also said the Turkish army did not have the authority to intervene militarily nor remove the democratic order as stated in the Turkish Armed Forces Internal Service Law.
On Feb. 28, 1997, the military was involved in the collapse of late Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan’s administration amid concerns expressed by generals about the government’s alleged Islamist program.
Erbakan’s government was forced to step down following a National Security Council meeting. His Welfare Party was later also outlawed. A new civilian government then took over from Erbakan in a move that became known as Turkey’s “postmodern” coup.