The cases and investigations have continued to date without any major external interference. However, a plan to amend Article 250 of the Turkish Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK) has caused concerns about the future of these trials and investigations. According to rumor, the cases and investigations may be taken from special courts and prosecutors and forwarded to new courts and prosecutors, meaning legal processes will have to start again from scratch as newly-assigned courts and prosecutors examine extensive documentation from the beginning.
Below is a short list of cases and investigations which will be significantly impacted by the planned revision to CMK Article 250.
Investigation into the death of Yazıcıoğlu: A helicopter carrying the then-BBP leader and five other passengers crashed in Kahramanmaraş on March 26, 2009. Security teams were unable to locate the wreckage for two days. Evidence seized months after the crash suggested that security teams were deliberately late in reaching the site of the accident, and that some of them destroyed evidence upon arrival. Specially authorized prosecutors are carrying out an investigation into the incident. Many fear suspects arrested over links to the incident will be released from prison if CMK Article 250 is amended. For the investigation to continue, prosecutors will have to obtain permission from the Ministry of Defense to further investigate suspects who are employed by the ministry.
Feb. 28, 1997 coup probe: Popularly known as the postmodern coup, when the powerful military forced a coalition government led by the now-defunct conservative Welfare Party (RP) to resign on the grounds of the rise of religious fundamentalism in the country. An investigation recently launched into the coup has resulted in the arrest of 59 people, all retired and active duty members of the Turkish military. The investigation will be taken from special prosecutors and assigned to new prosecutors if the CMK article is changed. The suspects under arrest will be released, and newly assigned prosecutors will ask for permission from the General Staff to start the investigation from scratch.
Probe into suspicious suicide of Col. Kazım Çillioğlu: The specially authorized public prosecutor's office in Malatya is conducting an investigation into the death of Col. Kazım Çillioğlu, who allegedly committed suicide in 1994. Çillioğlu was found dead at a residential military complex in Tunceli where he served as commander of the local gendarmerie brigade. His death was ruled a suicide. However, evidence that later emerged gave prosecutors reason to believe that the colonel was the victim of murder. The investigation will no longer be in the hands of special prosecutors if CMK Article 250 is amended. In addition, prosecutors will be obliged to obtain permission from the General Staff to investigate suspects in the incident, who are members of the military.
Case against Sept. 12, 1980 coup: Turkey has only recently come to the point of trying perpetrators of the bloody Sept. 12, 1980 coup. The investigation was carried out by a specially authorized prosecutor's office in Ankara. Retired Gen. Kenan Evren, who was the leader of the coup, is among one of three suspects in the case, which is being heard in a special Ankara court. However, the case will be forwarded to a new court if Article 250 is changed.
Ergenekon, Balyoz cases: Two of the most important cases undertaken by specially authorized courts are the Ergenekon trial and the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) trial, in which suspects are accused of attempting to overthrow the government. There are currently 256 suspects in the Ergenekon trial, 61 of whom are under arrest. In addition, 365 suspects are on trial in the Balyoz case, and 251 are in custody. If CMK Article 250 is amended, Turkey's jurists say the suspects under arrest may be released from prison pending trial. Jurists are worried that those suspects may destroy evidence related to the case if they are set free.