Thursday, September 13, 2012

Commemorating the 1980 murderous coup in Turkey

This exhibition of photos in Ankara, Turkey commemorates the victims of the September 12, 1980 military coup in that country led by General Kenan Evren. Such murderous regimes around the world murder thousands to silence dissent but in every instance, even decades later the dead come back to haunt justice in such photographic displays--and they will not be forgotten until justice is served. To date, no one has been punished in Turkey for crimes including 650,000 people detained & 230,000 people prosecuted in military courts. Over 300 people died in prison, including 171 who died as a result of torture. Hundreds of thousands were tortured, 14,000 were stripped of citizenship, thousands are still missing, a total of 1,683,000 people were blacklisted. There were 49 executions & hangings, including a 17-year-old student named Erdal Eren who said he looked forward to death to avoid thinking of the torture he had witnessed. His cousin is among the thousands calling for justice.

The military junta dictated the terms of a phony return to democracy in 1983. When the murderous General Evren retired, he moved to a Mediterranean resort town & took up painting. Now 94-years old, it took the Turkish courts over 30 years to press charges against the generalissimo & the only other surviving general. The first court hearing was scheduled for April 2012 & there is no word of the results but you can bet your bottom dollar the stalling maneuvers will continue & Evren can continue dabbling in painting at leisure til he croaks.

There are guilty parties not mentioned in the Turkish courts that need to be held to account: the US under the Jimmy Carter regime not only supported the coup, as acknowledged by the CIA Ankara station chief, but evidence strongly suggests the US directed the coup. Today, Turkey has the second largest army in NATO.

This exhibition included a replica of the gallows used to hang people & torture devices used, as well as letters, newspapers, clothes, & photos of those who died, disappeared, or were tortured. May they RIP; may their executioners be eventually brought to justice. Our fullest solidarity with the survivors. (Photo by Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

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