Turkey’s military has long been the guardians of Kemalist secularism. Now the Islamic supremacist Erdogan regime is completing its re-Islamization of Turkey, and arresting those guardians. “Feb. 28 probe widens as more ex-generals summoned to testify,” from Today’s Zaman, February 15 (thanks to Joshua):
Several more retired Turkish generals, including former Air Forces Commander Gen. Ergin Celasin, were taken to the Ankara Courthouse to give testimony as part of an investigation into the Feb. 28, 1997 postmodern coup, following the arrest of eight generals over the past few days in the same investigation.
The summoning of the generals, on top of dozens of other officers arrested, has widened the extensive judicial investigations into the once all-powerful military. Those called to testify on Friday were identified as Vice Adm. Aydan Erol, former Air Forces Commander Gen. Ergin Celasin, Rear Adm. Mustafa Ã–zbey, Brig. Gen. Ä°zzettin GÃ¼rdal, Rear Adm. Ä°smail Ruhsar SÃ¼mer and Lt. Gen. Ahmet Atalay Efeler. All the officers are now retired.
Celasin was released by prosecutors after he delivered his testimony. The retired general’s lawyer said his client was asked 40 questions during the interrogation. “Mr. Celasin told the prosecutors that Feb. 28 was not a coup and that he was the Turkish Air Forces commander at the time and had no role in the stepping down of the then-government,” lawyer Erol YÄ±lmaz Aras told media.
Celasin was promoted to the rank of general and appointed secretary-general of the National Security Council in 1997. In 1999 he was appointed as the commander of the Turkish Air Forces, and he retired in August 2001.
Two of the seven retired generals were in Ankara when the prosecutor ordered their testimony and they were immediately accompanied by police to the Ankara Courthouse. The remaining five were in Ä°stanbul and Ä°zmir. They were initially taken to state hospitals in their cities for a medical check-up and later brought to Ankara. They were then taken to the courthouse for their testimony to be heard by prosecutors involved in the Feb. 28 probe.
On Feb. 28, 1997, the Turkish military forced the coalition government led by the now-defunct conservative Welfare Party (RP) out of power, citing alleged rising religious fundamentalism in the country. The Feb. 28 coup brought a series of severe restrictions on religious life, including an unofficial but widely practiced ban on the use of headscarves by women at university campuses and in positions of public service….