Baş says commission sent coup-related documents to prosecutors
The head of the parliamentary Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Nimet Baş, has said the commission has sent a large number of coup-related documents to prosecutors investigating the Sept. 12, 1980 and Feb. 28, 1997 coups d'état upon their request.

"Prosecutors investigating the coups asked us [the commission] to send them some documents we obtained when we examined the coup periods. And we sent them the documents for examination," Baş told reporters on Friday.

The commission heard the testimonies of 156 people as witnesses as part of a parliamentary investigation into past coups. Witnesses and state institutions provided coup documents to the commission to help its members better understand the coup periods. Based on the testimonies of witnesses and findings from the documents, the commission drafted a final report and handed it over to the parliament speaker to examine. The report will initially be examined by Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek and then forwarded to prosecutor's offices investigating past coups in Turkey.

The report includes a list of suggestions by the commission on how to heal the wounds of coup victims and avert possible coups in the future, including a suggestion that the state officially apologize to the victims of the military takeovers. The suggestions include the drafting of a civilian constitution; an investigation into the unsolved murders that took place during military rule following the coups and the establishment of a parliamentary commission to redraft laws that in the past served as legal ground for a coup.

Baş, however, did not elaborate on what the documents sent to the prosecutor's offices contain. She said it is Turkey's duty to find the reasons behind the unsolved murders and the perpetrators who are responsible. "Turkey has not confronted this issue. For light to be shed on unsolved murders, a new parliamentary commission should be established to investigate the murders. The commission should have broad authority so that it will work without being interrupted or challenged," she stated.

Baş also recalled that investigations launched into some unsolved murders had failed to conclude. "Some of the murders, such as the assassination of journalist Uğur Mumcu, led to social chaos. More than 100,000 people gathered in Ankara shortly after Mumcu's assassination, and the incident resulted in bedlam. Rumors emerged that he was killed by a religious or fundamentalist organization," she noted.

Mumcu, a secularist investigative journalist, was killed by a car bomb on Jan. 24, 1993. Authorities initially blamed religious fundamentalist groups. However, perpetrators of the assassination have not been captured yet.

In response to a question on if the commission is planning to file criminal complaints against people who are responsible for staging the coups, Baş said "no" and added, "We do not have such a mission or duty." She also noted that prosecutor's offices are already investigation figures who played a role in staging the coups.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-30 18:00:02
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