Turkey 'coup plot': Military demands retrial

Relatives of detained military officers protest outside Ankara courthouse, 9 Oct 13 Relatives of the detained officers accuse the judiciary of a witch hunt against the armed forces

Related Stories

The high command of the Turkish armed forces has demanded a retrial for dozens of military officers convicted of plotting to topple the government.

A statement from the general staff, quoted by Turkish media, accused the judiciary and police of manipulation and fabricating evidence.

The legal complaint concerns two high-profile investigations, called Sledgehammer and Ergenekon.

The cases were seen as a challenge to modern Turkey's secularist traditions.

The former armed forces chief, Gen Ilker Basbug, was among dozens of people given long jail terms last August for involvement in the so-called Ergenekon plot.

Lawyers, politicians and journalists were convicted, along with many military officers.

Thursday's armed forces statement, quoted by the Hurriyet daily, said that "police officers, prosecutors and judges in the trials... ignored the pleas of defence lawyers and manipulated criminal evidence".

Political tensions

Two days ago opposition parties called for a retrial of the cases, after a key adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Yalcin Akdogan, spoke of a "plot" targeting the army and other institutions.

In recent days political tensions have been running high over alleged corruption in the Turkish government.

The ruling AK Party is rooted in Islam and has moved to curb the power of the Turkish military, which sees itself as guardian of the modern secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Three ministers resigned after their sons were arrested, along with dozens of others, over alleged wrongdoing in construction contracts and deals with Iran.

The controversy also led to dismissals of police officers and judicial officials. Mr Erdogan called the allegations a "dark plot" by destructive forces outside Turkey.

Analysts say the latest dispute is part of a power struggle between Mr Erdogan's government and an influential US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is said to have many followers within Turkey's police and judiciary.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.