Turkish court summons former army chief over e-memorandum

Former chief of Turkish General Staff Yasar Buyukanit summoned to testify over case of 2007 ‘e-memorandum’

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Former chief of Turkish General Staff Yasar Buyukanit was summoned by a chief prosecutor’s office on Thursday to bear his testimony as a “suspect” within the scope of an investigation into the April 27, 2007, “e-memorandum” case.

In a subpoena sent by the Bureau for Crimes Against the Constitutional Order of Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Buyukanıt was asked to submit his testimony while there was no direct charge mentioned against him in the statement.

The former chief of Turkish army is expected to give his testimony in Istanbul next week.

The Turkish military gave a memorandum to the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) about its reformist policies on April 27, 2007 which is now known as the “April 27 Memorandum.”

The “e-memorandum” posted on the website of the Turkish army stated that the army was following the dispute over the secular system in the presidential election with “concern” and would “openly show its position and attitude when it becomes necessary.’’

Following the release of the statement which Buyukanıt said he wrote himself, the Turkish parliament held an inconclusive, first-round vote to elect a new president.

Later, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the early election and the new parliament elected Abdullah Gul as president in August of that year.

On May 4, 2007, then Prime Minister President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a closed door meeting with Buyukanit at the historical Dolmabahce Palace.

Commenting on the meeting, Erdogan said that the details of it would continue to be kept secret.

The investigation into 2007 e-memorandum was launched by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office in 2012 after the head of a NGO called Justice Platform Adem Cevik filed complaints on the issue along with other cases concerning the Sept. 12, 1980, military coup and the military intervention of Feb. 28, 1997, often called a “post-modern coup.”

Buyukanıt also gave a testimony in 2012, saying that the “e-memorandum” of the army in 2007 was not a threat against democracy.

"April 27 [statement] is not a memorandum. It is a text which displays the sensitivity over secularism,” Buyukanit said.

TRTWorld and agencies