Report questions unfair gains after Feb. 28 coup

The Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) has prepared a 10,000-page report about the enrichment of some civilians and members of the military after the Feb. 28, 1997 postmodern coup.

Today’s Zaman has learned that the board is planning to submit its report later this month to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which has been carrying out an investigation into the unarmed coup. The report was prepared by a team of 10 financial experts and is mainly concerned with the undeserved financial gains of some civilians and members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) shortly after the Feb. 28 coup.

The report follows a 2012 MASAK investigation that examined the banking activities of two leading generals of the Sept. 12, 1980 coup, retired generals Kenan Evren and Tahsin Sahinkaya. The board found that the two men have “extraordinary wealth.” According to MASAK’s report, both Evren and Sahinkaya each have accounts with nearly 20 banks, as well as shares in private companies. In one of these accounts Evren has around TL 600,000. He also owns three luxury cars, three summer residences and is a partner in two private companies.

As part of an investigation into the Feb. 28 coup, MASAK recently ordered the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) to examine the wealth of some of the coup’s civilian and military actors.

The content of the report was not immediately made public. But Today’s Zaman has learned that the report mentions huge financial gains made by Higher Education Board (YOK) officials, journalists, labor union heads and businessmen after Feb. 28.

According to initial information obtained from MASAK, the wealth made by certain Feb. 28 actors might even exceed that of Evren and Sahinkaya. The report also suggests that the Feb. 28 coup cost the Turkish state around $300 billion.

The military forced a coalition government led by a now-defunct conservative party to step down on Feb. 28, 1997. Not only were fatal blows dealt to fundamental rights and freedoms after the coup, but democracy and the rule of law were also suspended. The coup introduced a series of harsh restrictions on religious life. Although the Feb. 28 coup’s effects on society were obvious, its effects on the Turkish economy have gone unexplained for years.