More detention warrants issued as Feb. 28 investigation deepens

This 2000 file photo shows retired Maj. Gen. Erol Özkasnak. (Photo: Today’s Zaman)
Turkish police raided the homes of several retired and active-duty military officers in six provinces as prosecutors deepened an investigation into the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed military intervention, detaining dozens more.

Initial reports said most of the addresses searched are the homes of former military officers who played a major role in the 1997 military intervention, known as the “postmodern coup.” Among the homes searched by police is the house of retired Maj. Gen. Erol Özkasnak, known to have played a major role in the coup generals’ communication with the media to force the then-government to resign.
It was also reported that detention warrants have been issued for some 30 individuals, 20 of them active-duty military officers. Özkasnak and retired Gen. Erdal Ceylano?lu are also among those for whom detention warrants have been issued. Ceylano?lu is widely known for his order to dispatch tanks to Ankara’s Sincan district as a show of force against the now-defunct Welfare Party (RP) coalition government in the run-up to the coup.

Thursday’s operation follows another one last week. The Ankara Specially Authorized Prosecutor’s Office last week issued detention warrants for 31 people, including retired Gen. Çevik Bir, who is known to have played a major role in the 1997 coup. The suspects were questioned by prosecutors and 18 of them were jailed.

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