196 indicted in alleged Turkish coup plot: Report

A court indicted 196 people, including four retired military commanders, of conspiring in 2003 to overthrow the Islamic-oriented government in an alleged plot.

Ankaar: A court on Saturday indicted 196 people,
including four retired military commanders, of conspiring in
2003 to overthrow the Islamic-oriented government in an
alleged plot that highlights tension between Turkey`s pious
leadership and its secular opponents.

A 968-page indictment accuses the suspects of planning to
create chaos and pave the way for a military takeover in an
alleged conspiracy dubbed "Sledgehammer," the Anatolia news
agency and other media reported.

Some 30 serving or retired military officers were
indicted, including Ret. Gen. Dogan Cetin, former commander of
Turkey`s first army, former naval force commander Ozden Ornek,
former air force commander Ibrahim Firtina and former army
commander Ergin Saygun, Anatolia said.

They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of
attempting to bring down the government and membership in an
illegal organisation, according to the Dogan news agency. Most
were detained in February - but subsequently released - after
a newspaper, Taraf, published allegedly leaked copies of
documents detailing their plans.

No trial date has been set.
Taraf said the suspects allegedly planned to blow up at
least two historic Istanbul mosques, Fatih and Bayazit, during
Friday prayers, assassinate some Christian and Jewish leaders
and shoot down a Turkish warplane and blame it on Greece -
Turkey`s traditional rival.

PTI

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