Turkey arrests ex-military chief of staff

Ismail Hakki Karadayi held for questioning over his alleged role in forcing resignation of prime minister in 1997.

    Retired chief of military staff arrested in Istanbul for his alleged role in ousting the president in 1997 [EPA]
    Retired chief of military staff arrested in Istanbul for his alleged role in ousting the president in 1997 [EPA]

    Turkey’s former military chief has been detained for interrogation of his role in the ousting of a pro-Islamic government in 1990s, a state news agency has reported.

    Ismail Hakki Karadayi, a retired chief of the military staff, was arrested at his home in Istanbul on Thursday, said state owned Andalou news agency. 

    Police have taken 80-year-old Karadayi to the capital, Ankara, to question him on his role in forcing the resignation of Necmettin Erbakan, former prime minister in 1997.

    Cevik Bir, a retired general who was detained in April last year urged that Karayadi be questioned for his knowledge about the formation of the West Study Group (BCG) which played a key role in the ouster. 

    Bir said that Karadayi authorized all decisions as his then-superior. 

    The BCG had been established within the military to categorize politicians, intellectuals, soldiers and bureaucrats, according to their religious and ideological backgrounds during the time of the coup. 

    The ongoing investigation into suspected actors behind what is called a "postmodern coup" has already detained 60 individuals on coup charges including six retired generals - including former chiefs of air force and military - were charged in May 2012. 

    The military pressured Erbakan to resign over his alleged attempts to raise the profile of Islam in the predominantly Muslim but secular country. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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