Retired general serving life sentence issued a ‘good health’ report 3 weeks before his demise

Vural Avar, 85, a retired general who died in prison on Tuesday, was issued a medical report 22 days before his demise that said he was healthy and fit to remain in prison, Turkish journalist Müyesser Yıldız wrote in her private blog on Wednesday.

According to Yıldız, the medical report was issued by the Ankara City Hospital.

Avar, one of a group of retired generals who were imprisoned last year due to their role in a military intervention in Turkey in 1997, known as the February 28 post-modern coup, died in his sleep on December 22 in Ankara’s Sincan Prison.

Avar, 85, was being held in prison despite health problems. It was previously announced that he had dementia that had progressed and that he had cracked his ribs after a fall in the prison bathroom on October 30.

The Ankara 5th High Criminal Court issued its final judgment on July 13, 2018, sentencing Avar and 13 former generals to life in prison on charges of forming criminal associations to overthrow the government and acquitting 68 defendants.

The Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the life sentences handed down to the 14 defendants in July 2021, and warrants were issued for the arrest of the former generals in August of the same year.

The retired generals were also stripped of their rank.

The trial concerned the military intervention of February 28, 1997, which did not result in direct military rule but forced the late Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign after the National Security Council (MGK) issued a memorandum.

The bloodless “postmodern” coup is famous for having deposed the head of government after tanks paraded on the outskirts of Ankara and Erbakan was given an ultimatum.

Because the Islamist Erbakan-led government was forced out without the dissolution of parliament or the suspension of the constitution, the event was labeled a “postmodern coup” by members of the military involved in the process.

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