‘Everyone, including high-ranking soldiers, should be tried’

April 30, 2012, Monday/ 15:59:00/ MEHMET ŞAHİN

Turkish Bar Association (TBB) President Vedat Ahsen Coşar has said that in order to enable democracy to perform properly, everyone having a role in coups should be brought to account, implying his support for the removal of immunity.

Coşar said in Adana, where he attended a meeting of the Intern Lawyers Congress, that he does not find military intervention in politics right, as democracy is administration by civilians. “Democracy is, at the same time, a continuous process, but this process has been interrupted by the coups that were staged in Turkey every 10 years,” he noted.

Underlining that no one, including high-ranking soldiers, is untouchable, Coşar said everyone should be brought to account for what he has done, but those misusing their public service have a greater obligation to account for what they have done. However, Coşar highlighted that the process of “accounting for” should be carried out according to the law. “I am not against investigations into coups or giving coup plotters a hard time. But these should be done within the lines drawn by the law. Detention has lately been used as a punishment, not a precaution. It is not used in a way that is appropriate to its purpose. Many suspects are detained at the beginning of investigations. Do they have to be detained? ” asked Coşar, adding that the judiciary should revise its practice of detentions.

The TBB president noted that it is crucially necessary to launch an investigation into the March 12, 1971 coup as it is the date when all the lawlessness and torture started. “I agree that all of the coups should be investigated, but primarily the March 12 coup should be investigated, because March 12 signaled [the] Sept. 12 [1980 coup],” he said.

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