Turkish press review

April 13, 2012, Friday/ 12:08:00

On Friday Turkish dailies mostly covered the detention of military officers involved in the Feb. 28, 1997 “postmodern” military intervention and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks regarding developments in Syria.

Several Turkish dailies ran stories on the recent detention of military officers. The Sabah daily wrote that a national attempt to confront past military interventions will now also include the Feb. 28, 1997 postmodern coup following legal attempts to confront the Ergenekon and Balyoz plans, various military memorandums intended to threaten civilian authority and the Sept. 12, 1980 coup. According to Sabah, police raided 40 locations in Ankara, İstanbul, Çanakkale, Niğde and Eskişehir within the scope of the Feb. 28 process investigation carried out by Specially Authorized Ankara Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili. The prosecutor has demanded that 31 military officers, including former Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Çevik Bir, be detained. Twenty-six people were detained, but police were unable to find five of the suspects. The Yeni Şafak daily reported that the nation is asking officers involved in the postmodern coup why they did what they did 15 years ago. In February of 1997, tanks were moved into Ankara's Sincan neighborhood in a show of force and the move was referred to as “fine tuning democracy,” after which the democratically elected coalition government led Islamist Welfare Party (RP) leader Necmettin Erbakan stepped down.

The second most widely reported story was Erdoğan's remarks on Syria. Yeni Şafak quoted Erdoğan as saying Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had not implemented UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's plan. According to the paper, Erdoğan said: “Firstly, tanks should withdraw from cities and elections should be held. Then, the international community will respect what comes out of the ballot boxes.”