Turkish coup victims call General Evren to account

April 2, 2012 16:28


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ANKARA - Leftist student Erdal Eren was just 17 when Turkey's military hanged him after seizing power in a 1980 coup.

His cousin Gokhan is now among thousands calling the now silver-haired, 94-year-old coup leader General Kenan Evren to account in a trial this week which many Turks hope will help heal wounds from a history of military takeovers.

The days of military intervention are long gone in Turkey. Reforms which Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has pushed through during his decade in power, as part of a bid for EU membership, have sharply reined in the power of NATO's second biggest army.

But Evren's trial adds a poignant twist to the sprawling prosecution of hundreds of people being tried for alleged coup plots against Erdogan's government and will shed fresh light on a time of brutal repression 30 years ago.

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