“February 28 Postmodern Coup” Program Was Held at the Marmara University

Organized by Turkey Youth Foundation  (Türkiye Gençlik Vakfı, TÜGVA)  and New Generation Student Community, the event titled "February 28: Postmodern Coup" was held at İbrahim Üzümcü Conference Hall, Göztepe Campus, Marmara University.  The guest of the event held on the anniversary of February 28 was Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç.  Rector Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt, Vice Rectors Prof. Dr. Ömer Akgiray, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Çelen and Prof. Dr. Hasan Korkut, General Secretary Lect. Dr. Murat Arısal, deans, faculty members, administrative staff and students attended the conversation, which was moderated by TÜGVA President İbrahim Giriş.

The program started with the welcome speech of TÜGVA Istanbul Branch President Beytullah Çiçen, while the opening speech of the program was made by Marmara University Rector Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt.

Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kurt: “The Dear Turkish Nation Said Stop to February 28”

Rector Kurt started his speech by expressing their happiness in hosting this important program, in which the February 28 coup, which left deep traces in the history of Turkey, will be re-examined and evaluated in many aspects.  Kurt said, "Unlike all the coups in the past, it is the February 28 coup, which is called "postmodern" and caused another democratic disaster in Turkey 27 years ago."

"In addition to being a coup against the Government of the Republic of Turkey, February 28 is also another name for the war launched against a large segment of the society and the destruction of the living spaces of a significant segment of the society by suspending their fundamental rights and freedoms. There was only one power to stop the process. And that was the beloved Turkish nation. The February 28 mentality was defeated in the face of the democratic accumulation of our beloved nation” said Rector Kurt.

Rector Kurt underlined that there are many lessons that young people can learn from the history of a country that does not benefit from coups today as it does tomorrow. Dr. Mustafa Kurt concluded his speech by saying, "We will tell our youth about the coups, we will talk and discuss freely with them, so that they, as the architects of our country's future, will not allow any initiative that takes us backward, and will not take our country one step behind the line of progressive, contemporary civilizations."

After watching the documentary called "Witness", which includes the events that took place during the February 28 period and the narratives of the students and young people who witnessed the period, the interview with the Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç was held under the moderation of TÜGVA President İbrahim Giriş.

Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç: “February 28 Caused Very Deep Wounds”

Explaining the coups that took place throughout Turkey's history in historical order, Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç also mentioned the memorable events during the February 28 period, the anti-democratic practices and the difficulties faced by students.

Emphasizing that the wounds caused by February 28 were very deep, Minister Tunç said, “Students who could not study and were expelled from their faculties, 6 million people were blacklisted at that time. Thousands of teachers were dismissed from their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs. That process was stolen as a black mark on our democracy. Necessary arrangements were made to defend the victims on February 28, and they were returned to the civil service. These were done with the determination of our President in the 2000s. The then Prime Minister was tried and convicted for the missing trillion lie. It was a grievance of February 28. Significant progress has been made in healing the wounds of the victims. What can be done from now on so that our children and young people do not encounter these problems? The regulations that eliminate the tutelage spirit in our constitution should be made permanent in the new constitution and the construction of the Turkey Century should continue with a new democratic constitution."

Stating that the cost of February 28 to the country's economy was 300 billion dollars, “The coupist mentality, especially the crime of coup, is the most vile crime. It is theft of national will, hostility to the homeland and nation," Minister Yılmaz Tunç said. Stating that they do not want children and young people to experience dark processes such as February 28 again, Minister Tunç concluded his speech by emphasizing that young people should constantly remember how these processes took Turkey backward to avoid such nights and days from now on.

Answering the questions of the students, Minister Tunç thanked TÜGVA, New Generation Student Community and Marmara University for organizing the event. The event ended with the presentation of a gift to the Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç and a photo shoot.