Turkey's Former Army Chief Ismail Hakki Karadayi Detained over Coup Role
By Gianluca Mezzofiore | January 4, 2013 12:34 AM EST
Turkey's former armed forces chief Ismail Hakki Karadayi has been detained as part of the ongoing investigation into a coup in February 1997 that ousted the country's first Islamist-led government.
Karadayi was taken into custody after retired general Cevik Bir, the second-highest ranking official in the army at the time, accused him of playing a key role in the bloodless coup.
Generals in the National Security Council forced then prime minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign in June 1997 after accusing him of undermining the secular constitution.
The military elite, which long saw itself as guardian of the secular ideals of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, introduced a series of restrictions on religious life, citing alleged growing religious fundamentalism in the country.
Among the measures were an unofficial but widely practised ban on the wearing of headscarves by women, a purge of members with suspected ties to religious groups from the military, and the shutdown of several newspapers.
Since prime minister Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development party (AKP) got to power in 2002, the influence of the military has been significantly curbed.
An investigation into coup plots has resulted in the arrests of 60 people on coup charges. Bir recently released a 11-page-long complaint petition that detailed how Karadayi was behind the feared West Study Group (BCG), a committee of military officials that operated as a monitoring and intelligence body during the 28 February coup.
Karadyi has always denied any involvement with the BCG, which kept illegal records of thousands of wire-taped conversations by politicians, intellectuals and civil workers who were part of the 1997 government.
More than 300 military officers were sentenced to jail in September for plotting to overthrow Erdogan almost a decade ago, while nearly 300 other people - including politicians, academics, journalists and retired army officers - are on trial accused of orchestrating political violence.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- Lunch with the Gods: Pope Francis Eats with Vatican Workers in Cafeteria
Join the Conversation
- Canada’s Anti-Prostitution Law Soon: Critics Call it Draconian
- ACT Party's Demand to Re Consider Maoris Privileges Evokes Reprimand
- Opinion Poll in New Zealand Shows National Party Far Ahead in Popular Support
- “Women should not laugh in public” - Turkish Deputy PM says
- Iran Leader Asks Muslims to Supply Arms to Palestine, Calls Israel ‘Rapacious Wolf’
- Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish Can't Play in the U.S. Open Due to Drug Testing Issues
- Billy Bob Thornton Want to Play Hodor in Game Of Thrones
- Fukushima Radiation Tests on Waters Along U.S. Coast Yield Negative Results
- Zac Efron Equates Boozing to a Social Stimulant, Admits Why He Checked into Rehab Last Year
- Celebrities Who Stripped Naked for Women's Health