Former Turkish president questioned over role in 1980 coup
20:17 06/06/2011 ANKARA, June 6 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish prosecutors questioned on Monday for the first time ex-president Kenan Evren as part of a probe into the 1980 Turkish military coup.
Evren, a former chief of General Staff, came to power after the coup and served as the seventh president of the Turkish Republic from 1982 until 1989.
The retired general, who turns 93 in July, was questioned at his residence in Ankara for two-and-a-half hours and answered 12 questions about his role in the coup, Evren's lawyer Nihat Ozgun said.
The questioning of Evren and other organizers of the 1980 coup comes on the eve of parliamentary elections in the country. Many observers see it as an attempt by the Islamic-rooted government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ensure reelection for a third term in office.
Evren is remembered for ordering a constitution that restricted democratic freedoms and strengthened the role of the military in the country. He is also blamed for violent crackdowns on militants and their supporters during the coup.
Erdogan's government has vowed to introduce changes to the constitution to make it more democratic.
The Turkish opposition has long demanded that Evren and other coup leaders be tried for crimes against humanity, but legal experts believe that a trial is unlikely due to the expired statute of limitations.
Prosecutors were able to launch an investigation into the 1980 coup after the current government adopted constitutional changes that lifted the immunity of coup organizers.
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