Arrest warrent for coup participants

ISTANBUL – In Turkey on Thursday morning arrest warrants were issued for the perpetrators of the ‘post-modern coup’ that ended the government of Prime Minister Erbakan in 1997. House searches were carried out at more than 31 addresses, according to Turkish media reports.

The arrest warrants concern 31 high, now retired, military officials, among them one of the leaders of the coup, Cevik Bir.

The coup of 28 February 1997 was the last of a series of power take-overs by the Turkish army. No tank was used though, during this ‘post-modern coup’: the army leadership issued a memorandum of demands to the government, after which Erbakan saw no alternative but to resign. The army, which still controlled political life at that time through the National Security Council, found that the religious Erbakan was endangering the secularist order of the state.

Earlier coups in Turkey took place in 1960, 1971 and 1980. In 2007 the army again tried to force its will upon the government with verbal violence, that time towards Prime Minister Erdogan, but didn’t succeed.

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