Just 24 hours prior to the start of the trial, Turkey's Grand National Assembly, the Prime Ministry, CHP, MHP, BDP and BBP all applied to be co-plaintiffs in the case for being 'direct victims' of the 1980 coup.
At this stage, it seems most certain that Kenan Evren, who is currently admitted to GATA and Tahsin Şahinkaya, who was still in Istanbul up until yesterday, will not be present for today's hearing. The historical trial for the 1980 coup begins today at 9:30 at Ankara's Special Authority 12th High Criminal Court. The past 24 hours however, have been extremely active for the Ankara Courthouse as over 300 individuals and 20 civil society organizations and state foundations applied to become co-plaintiffs. Turkey's Grand National Assembly, the Prime Ministry, CHP and MHP have also applied to be co-plaintiffs under the stipulation they were all victimized in the coup.
ASSEMBLY: WE ARE THE AGGRIEVED
Turkey's Assembly has applied to be co-plaintiffs stating that they are first-degree victims of the coup, due to the fact that when military intervention transpired, judicial authority belonged to Turkey's Grand National Assembly as dictated by the 1961 Constitution, which also included the
provision that said authority is non-transferable. According to the Constitution, this authority is absolute and exclusive. During the military intervention, the suspects facing trial assumed an authority not derived from the constitution in order to forcibly take over the judicial authority granted to the Assembly.
CHP: WE WERE SHUT DOWN
CHP, or the Republican People's Party also submitted a petition to be co-plaintiff's stating that a number of political parties were shut down during the 1980 coup, including CHP. The motion also states, "The party Chairman at the time, Bülent Ecevit, was arrested due to the coup legislation. However, the most upsetting incident is that the party's general headquarters was used as a substitute martial law court and that the State Security Court building was a place where CHP members would be taken up and down stairs blindfolded in order to face trial in a freak form of justice. With their own headquarters taken over and used as courts against them, members of the Republican People's Party were tried in a manner that completely disregarded any semblance of human rights."
MHP: DELIBERATE IMPRISONMENT
The petition to act as co-plaintiffs was submitted by MHP or the Nationalist Movement Party by Secretary General İsmet Büyükataman. The reasons behind MHP's petition were listed as follows: "MHP was shut down in the September 12th revolution. MHP administrators were tried in martial law courts, in which they would later be found not guilty. However, despite the fact that unfortunately all other political party administrators and members were released shortly thereafter, MHP administrators were detained for an extended period of time and our party chairman at the time, the late Alparslan Türkeş, was deliberately held unjustly and while found innocent for four and a half years from September 1980 and April 9, 1985."
Meanwhile, Gülefer Yazıcıoğlu the wife of BBP founder Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, who was killed in a helicopter crash and BBP administrators as well as BDP have also applied to be co-plaintiffs.
BAHÇELİ: WE ARE THE TRUE VICTIMS
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli states, "MHP and the nationalist movement were the ones to suffer the most from that unfortunate and insane period." Bahçeli also mentioned that they have never been complainants in order to refrain from wearing out the government or revisiting the pain suffered and stated, "If there is anyone that is owed anything from Kenan Evren and the other perpetrators from that period in time, then first and foremost that debt is owed to none other than the Nationalist Movement."
62 CO-PLAINTIFFS IN COURT
Taking into consideration the size of the courtroom, Ankara's 12th High Criminal Court has decided to allow 22 co-plaintiff-victims who are included in the indictment and 40 other individuals that have applied to be co-plaintiffs as well as a number of representatives from parties and establishments that submitted last-minute petitions to be present at today's hearing.
AGGRAVATED LIFE IMPRISONMENT
In 2010, Turkish prosecutors opened an investigation into the former general and president and former air force chief Tahsin Sahinkaya over the 1980 coup. Days earlier Turks had voted to approve reforms, including on the temporary article 15 that stripped Evren and other coup leaders of immunity. An 82-page indictment was prepared requesting that Kenan Evren and Ali Tahsin Şahinkaya serve life sentences without parole for "Attempting to, and or, changing the Turkish Republic Constitution as well as stripping or attempting to disrupt the authority of Turkey's Grand National Assembly, which is appointed through the Constitution."
AK PARTY STAGES COUP AGAINST COUPS!
The AK Party group is expected to submit a motion to Turkey's Grand National Assembly requesting that all coups and attempted coups be investigated. Speaking at the AK Party Group meeting, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan commented on the application made by the government to be co-plaintiffs in the case by stating, "The legitimate representation of the public, the governments which were in place at times of coups were the most affected parties. Today, as this nation's legitimate representatives and as a government which has taken on the responsibility of leading the country, we believe that we are a natural part of this case. With the reforms set in place on another September 12th, with the support of our nation, Constitutional amendments were made allowing for the judiciary to fulfill their duty and begin this trial process. We hope that this case, which we will also be closely following as co-plaintiffs, will reap beneficial results for our democracy."