Karadayi was convicted in 2018 over role in downfall of Turkish government in 1997 ‘postmodern’ coup

ISTANBUL 

Former Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi, 88, who served between 1994 and 1998 as Turkey’s chief of General Staff, died Tuesday in Istanbul. 

He had been undergoing treatment for cancer in a private hospital.

Born in the central province of Cankiri in 1932, Karadayi graduated from military school in 1951.

– 2018 life sentence

In a landmark decision, in 2018 a Turkish court sentenced 21 people to aggravated life imprisonment over Turkey’s 1997 “postmodern” coup, including Karadayi and his deputy, Gen. Cevik Bir.

The court concluded that Karadayi was involved in the downfall of the government.

Most of the figures behind the coup were not arrested due to old age or health problems, but instead were only barred from leaving the country.

The court also said the Turkish army did not have the authority to intervene militarily or remove the democratic order as stated in the Turkish Armed Forces Internal Service Law.

On Feb. 28, 1997, the military was involved in the collapse of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan’s government amid concerns expressed by generals about its alleged Islamist program.

Erbakan’s government was forced to step down following a National Security Council meeting. 

His Welfare Party was later also outlawed. A new civilian government then took over from Erbakan in a move that became known as Turkey’s “postmodern” coup.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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