Two generals arrested in Turkey’s 1997 coup case

Updated 28 February 2013
0

Two generals arrested in Turkey’s 1997 coup case

ISTANBUL: Two more retired Turkish generals were jailed overnight in connection with a probe into a bloodless coup in 1997 that led to the removal of an Islamist-led government, the Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.
General Yucel Ozsir and former land forces commander General Erdal Ceylanoglu were among four ex-generals summoned to testify before prosecutors at an Ankara court on Wednesday, on the eve of the coup’s 16-year anniversary.
The two were sent to a high-security prison in Ankara’s Sincan district, the same place where army command rolled out tanks onto the streets in February 1997 in a thinly-veiled threat to then Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, who stepped down a few months later.
“General Ceylanoglu was asked questions about the tanks rolling out on February 4, 1997,” his lawyer Erol Aras told Anatolia.
“There were no other solid accusations,” he added, noting that he would appeal Ceylanoglu’s arrest pending trial.
Prosecutors are preparing an indictment for around 90 suspects, including 60 retired and active military officers, as part of the probe launched in 2011 and seen as the latest standoff between the military and the Islamist-rooted Turkish government.
At least four other generals have been jailed for their alleged roles in the coup.
Turkey’s military has long seen itself as the guarantor of the country’s secular constitution.
But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a former disciple of Erbakan, has sought to curb its powers.
In September, more than 300 retired and active military officers received prison sentences of up to 20 years for an undercover coup plot in 2003 to overthrow his government.
Hundreds of suspects, including army officers, journalists, academics and lawmakers, are being tried in separate cases over their alleged roles in plots to topple Erdogan’s government, in power since 2002.


Dozens of bodies found in Raqqa mass grave

Updated 22 April 2018
0

Dozens of bodies found in Raqqa mass grave

  • Raqqa was the de facto “capital” of the Daesh group in northern Syria until the terror group was ousted by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October 2017
  • Daesh has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations

QAMISHLI, Syria: Dozens of bodies, including those of jihadists and civilians, have been found in a mass grave in the former Daesh group stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, a local official said on Saturday.
The former de facto “capital” of the group in northern Syria, Raqqa saw the jihadists ousted by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October 2017.
Nearly 50 bodies had already been recovered from the mass grave, which could contain up to 200 bodies, Abdallah Al-Eriane, a senior official with Raqqa Civil Council now running the city, said,
The mass grave was located under a football pitch, close to a hospital where the jihadists had dug in before being chased out of the city.
“It was apparently the only place available for burials, which were done in haste. The jihadists were holed up in the hospital,” the official said, adding that some bodies were marked with the nom de guerre of the jihadist while civilians just had first names.
In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered mass graves in areas previously occupied by the jihadists.
Syrian troops uncovered a mass grave containing the remains of more than 30 people killed by Daesh in Raqqa province in February.
It followed two other similar finds by the Syrian army.
The Daesh group, which proclaimed a “caliphate” over swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, has now lost almost all the land it once controlled.
It has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations.