Pro-American Coup Plotters Receive Life Sentence
The two retired senior armed forces officials, Evren and Şahinkaya, who organized a pro-American coup d'etat in Turkey on 12 September, 1980 have been given life sentences.
The Former Chief of General Staff retired General Kenan Evren, (97) and former retired commander of the Air Forces, Orgeneral Tahsin Şahinkaya (89), who have been under investigation in the scope of the 12 September Trial by the No. 10 High Criminal Court, have been given a life sentence.
The Ankara 10. High Criminal Court was connected via a visual and audio system from the Court, where the hearing was happening, to the GATA Military Academy. Evren and Şahinkaya followed the court case with the help of pillows in their beds.
Following negotiations conducted by the delegation, the chief judge Oktay Saday announced the decision. Saday declared that Evren and Şahinkaya had, in the 12 September 1980 coup they carried out, committed the crimes of attempting to abolish the Constitution and parliament which prevented them from performing their role. The chief judge Saday further stated that their punishments would be “life sentences,” taking into account the scope of the dossier together with the behavior and actions of the defendants in the trial.
Saday announced that a ruling had been given for Evren and Şahinkaya in accordance with the 30th article of the Military Criminal Code, with this article stipulating the “removal of military ranks.”
The 12 September military regime not only disrupted the democratic progression of Turkey, but also returned the losses of the United States. The US military bases which were closed following the Cyprus Peace Operation of the Turkish Armed Forces in 1974 was re-opened. Major concessions were made to the US through the bilateral agreements. The military agreements between Turkey and the US were already carrying the signs of the colonial mindset.
Turkey, which has become an hardline block and a reliable ally of the Atlantic forces in context of the Soviet-American conflict during its NATO membership in 1952, completely fell into the dilemma of “free marketing economy” and the US's Green Belt project, which aims to redesign secular Turkey in context of the “moderate Islam.”
Turkey has been systematically pushed into an ideological conflict by Gladio, a stay-behind striking power of the NATO, through the armed conflicts between opposing political groups after the first half of the 70s.
Orgeneral Kenan Evren and his team appeared in this process. This was one of the strongest cracks in Turkish history. Turkey had just entered into a transformation period in the benefit of the United States in terms of both economic and regional policies.
In those days, important developments were occurring in the region. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979, and the Soviet Union intervened Afghanistan. Finally, Paul Henze, Ankara station chief of the CIA at the time of the 12 September Coup D'etat, cabled the good news to the Washington Administrations, saying, "[y]our boys [in Ankara] have done it." This was the summary of debates regarding the role of the United States in the 12th September Coup D'etat. The same message had been conveyed to President Jimmy Carter after Henze.
Paul Henze had said in one of his speeches to a Turkish newspaper in 2003 that he had not said, "[y]our boys have done it," and that Mehmet Ali Birand had made it up. However, Birand refuted him by broadcasting the audio and the video recordings of his interview with Henze in 1997.
There was no longer any doubt in the minds of Turkish people regarding who or which power elites were trying to change the shape of the national-secular government by considering it a threat. The first course that the Turkish youth have taken from the 12th September pro-American coup d'etat and the following social, economic and political process was that “the main obstacle in the progress of an independent country is imperialism.” Penalization of the architects of the 12th September is also the penalization of the state violence, torture, despotism and imperialist aggression.