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Turkish PM asked to testify before panel

Nov. 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been asked to testify before a parliamentary panel investigating past military coups.

The Coups and Military Memorandums Inquiry Commission wants to question Erdogan about a 1997 coup and the "e-memorandum" from 2007, Hurriyet Daily News reported. Erdogan has a choice of giving a written deposition, testifying or refusing to be questioned.

Idris Sahin, a spokesman for the commission, said members want Erdogan's take on the events even though it stopped hearing witnesses this week.

The "e-memorandum" in April 2007 was a threat to take over the government posted on the military website. Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, which began as an Islamist group, had been in power for four years, and members of the military said a coup might be necessary to protect Turkey's secular political system.

A week later, Erdogan and Gen. Yasar Buyukanit met at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, formerly the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire, where the prime minister has an office. The commission also wants to ask about the meeting.

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