Turkey's top appeals court upholds convictions in 'post-modern coup' case

Turkey's Court of Cassation on July 9 upheld the conviction of 14 people, including former generals Çevik Bir and Çetin Doğan, over their involvement in a 1997 military memorandum which forced the then Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign.

This collage photo shows former generals Çevik Bir and Çetin Doğan.

Duvar English

The Court of Cassation on July 9 upheld the life sentences of 14 suspects in a case known as the “post-modern coup” of Feb. 28, 1997, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Among those whose sentences were upheld were the era’s Deputy Chief of General Staff, Çevik Bir and First Army Commander Çetin Doğan.

In contrast to Turkey's military coups in 1969, 1980 and the failed takeover in 2016, all which featured outright use of military force, the events of the "postmodern coup" in 1997 took place off the streets at a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK).

The military leadership issued a memorandum against the Islamist government of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan on Feb. 28, 1997.

A new government was formed on June 30, 1997.

İsmail Hakkı Karadayı was the Chief of General Staff at the time.

The events of 1997 were dubbed the “post-modern coup” as the generals used pressure behind the scenes to force Erbakan from power, in contrast to the direct intervention of the former military coups in Turkey.

In a landmark decision, in 2018 a Turkish court sentenced 21 people to aggravated life imprisonment over the 1997 events.

The court however did not order the suspects' arrest due to their old age and instead imposed a judicial control and banned them from traveling abroad.

Karadayı was also among the generals who received a life sentence in 2018, but the Court of Cassation's ruling did not include him as he lost his life in 2020.