1997 military memorandum (Turkey)
The 1997 military memorandum refers to the decisions issued by the Turkish Military leadership on a National Security Council meeting at 28 February 1997 which initiated the 28 February process that precipitated the resignation of prime minister Necmettin Erbakan of the Welfare Party and the end of his coalition government. As the Erbakan government was forced out without dissolving the parliament or suspending the constitution, the event has been labelled a "postmodern coup" by the Turkish admiral Salim Dervişoğlu, a label that has stuck.
On 17 January 1997, during a visit to the Turkish General Staff, Turkish president Süleyman Demirel requested a briefing on what had been bothering the military. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı, Chief of the General Staff, enumerated 55 items, labelled "reactionary". Demirel said half of them were based on hearsay. He encouraged Karadayı to communicate with the government, and to soften the memorandum's wording.
On 31 January 1997, protests against Israeli human rights violations took place in "Al-Quds night" and were arranged by the Sincan municipality in Ankara. The building in which the "Al-Quds night" took place was plastered with posters of Hamas and Hezbollah. As part of the process, the tanks moved on the streets of Sincan on 4 February. The movement was later described as a balance adjustment to the democracy by Çevik Bir.
At the National Security Council (MGK) meeting on 28 February 1997, the generals submitted their views on issues regarding secularism and political Islam on Turkey to the government. The MGK made several decisions during this meeting and the Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan from the Welfare Party was forced to sign the decisions. The decisions were intended to protect the secularist ideology in Turkey. Some of the decisions that Erbakan was forced to sign are:
- Strict headscarf ban in universities
- Eight year primary school education
- Shutting down Koran schools
- Abolition of Tarikats (sufi orders)
- Control of media groups which object to the decisions of Yüksek Askerî Şûra (Supreme Military Council) to fire religious soldiers on claims of "irtica" ("reaction"/"reactionaryism")
After the process following military memorandum, Erbakan was forced to resign. Although DYP, RP and BBP declared that they should form the new government with the Prime ministership of Tansu Çiller, Demirel appointed ANAP leader Mesut Yılmaz to form the new government. He formed a new coalition government with Bülent Ecevit (DSP leader) and Hüsamettin Cindoruk (the founder and the leader of DTP, a party founded after 28 February Process by former DYP members) on 30 June 1997. The Welfare Party was closed by the Constitutional Court in 1998. Necmettin Erbakan was banned from politics for 5 years and former MP members and mayors of RP joined the Virtue Party. Istanbul mayor, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from Virtue Party was given a prison sentence after he had read a nationalist and Islamist poet and he was banned from politics forever. In the 1999 general elections, The Virtue Party won many seats in the parliament but it was not as successful as the RP in the 1995 general elections. One of the MP members of the party was Merve Kavakçı who wore an Islamic headscarf. The Virtue Party was also closed by the Constitutional Court in 2001 because of Merve Kavakçı's entrance to the parliament. Although former Istanbul mayor Erdoğan was banned from politics, he managed to form the Justice and Development Party, a reformist party that declared not to be a political party with a religious axis. The traditional Islamists formed the Felicity Party.
Çevik Bir and 30 other officers from the Army were detained for their roles in this coup in April 2012.
 Opinions on the memorandum
While the move was ostensibly directed against Erbakan's Islamic party, some have speculated that the coup was actually directed against Erbakan's coalition partner, Tansu Çiller, who was implicated in the Susurluk scandal.
It is alleged that Bülent Orakoğlu of the police intelligence, under Hanefi Avcı, learned about the coup plans.
Çevik Bir, one of the generals who planned the process said that “In Turkey we have a marriage of Islam and democracy. (…) The child of this marriage is secularism. Now this child gets sick from time to time. The Turkish Armed Forces is the doctor which saves the child. Depending on how sick the kid is, we administer the necessary medicine to make sure the child recuperates”.
Necmettin Erbakan said that the process had been planned by the Zionists.
 See also
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- Çandar, Cengiz (27 June 1997). "Post-modern darbe". Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
- Rosen, Seth (27 July 2008). "Reforms curb Turkey's armed forces". Washington Times. Retrieved 25 June 2005.
- "kitap – Generalinden 28 Şubat İtirafı "Postmodern Darbe" – Hulki Cevizoğlu, generalinden 28 şubat İtirafı "postmodern darbe", GENERALINDEN 28 ŞUBAT İTIRAFı "POSTMODERN DARBE"". kitapyurdu. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- Demir, Metehan (27 February 2007). "'Post-modern darbe' tanımının 10 yıllık sırrı". Sabah (in Turkish). Retrieved 27 July 2008.
- Tayyar, Şamil (9 January 2009). "Tolon, Dalan’ı neden aradı?". Star (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 17 January 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- Mercan, Faruk (12 February 2007). "Karadayı ikili oynamadı muhtemel darbeyi önledi". Aksiyon (in Turkish) (Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş.) (636). Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
- "Politika – Kudüs Gecesi'ndeki tiyatro hataydı 28 Şubatçıların eline koz verdim – ZAMAN GAZETESİ [İnternetin İlk Türk Gazetesi]" (in (Turkish)). Zaman.com.tr. 28 February 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- "February 28 period still maintains its grip on Turkey". Todayszaman.com. Retrieved 18 August 2010.[dead link]
- "Signature campaign against headscarf ban expands". Todayszaman.com. Retrieved 18 August 2010.[dead link]
- Arsu, Sebnem (2012-04-12). "Turkish Military Leaders Held for Role in ’97 Coup". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- Goltz, Thomas (13 July 1997). "As the 'Coup' Turns: The Army's Real Target". Los Angeles Times. p. M-2. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- Guven, Cevheri (4 December 2008). "Enis Berberoğlu ve MİT'teki kankası". Aktif Haber (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
- "Türkiye’de 'Demokrasi Ayarı' Şart!". Kibrispostasi.com. 28 February 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- "28 Şubat İsrail planıydı!". Dogruses.com. Retrieved 18 August 2010.[dead link]
 Further reading
- Yetkin, Murat (25 December 2008). "Özkök’ten ‘savunma’: Beni 28 Şubat'takiler gibi davranmamakla suçladılar". Radikal (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.