Turkey orders arrest of 102 over 'coup plot'

Adm Ozden Ornek (file image)
Image caption Former navy commander Adm Ozden Ornek is among those facing charges

A Turkish court has ordered 102 people charged with plotting to overthrow the government to be arrested and held in jail until their trial, the state news agency says.

The suspects were among 196 people indicted this week. Some were detained in February and then released.

They include three retired military commanders. They are to be jailed pending their 16 December trial.

The remaining 94 will remain free until their trial.

All are accused of involvement in an alleged conspiracy to create chaos and pave the way for a military takeover.

Among the 102 people are retired Gen Dogan Cetin, former commander of Turkey's first army, former navy chief Adm Ozden Ornek and former air force commander Gen Halil Ibrahim Flirtina.

The indictment says the alleged conspiracy was drawn up in 2003 at the Istanbul base of the Turkish First Army shortly after the governing AKP party came to power.

The alleged plot - codenamed Operation Sledgehammer - reportedly involved plans to bomb mosques and provoke tensions with Greece, in order to spark political chaos and justify a military takeover.

The case is the latest in a series involving alleged plots against the Islamist-rooted government by the military and secular establishment.

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