Turkey wants to prosecute coup participants

ISTANBUL – The Turkish government plans a constitutional change to make possible the prosecution of military personnel involved in the coup of 1980. Several Turkish online media report this on Thursday.

In Turkey the constitution of 1982 is still valid, written by the military rulers and including an article that makes prosecution of the coup participants impossible. The Erdogan government wants to change that now. The biggest opposition party, CHP, urged the same move last year, causing coup leader Kenan Evren to state that he would rather commit suicide than appear before court. Kenan Evren is now 92 years old and lives in the coastal tourist town of Marmaris.

The government today is sending a package of proposed constitutional changes to all political parties that got at least one percent of the vote in the last elections, which means also to the parties that are not represented in parliament, where a threshold of ten percent is in force. That way the governing AKP wants to get as much support as possible for the package, which focuses mainly on judicial reforms. The opposition parties in parliament staunchly reject the plans. In parliament, the required two thirds majority for constitutional changes will most probably not be met, which will make a referendum on the package unavoidable.

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