Ex-Army chiefs testify on alleged anti-govt plot in Turkey



Ex-Army chiefs testify on alleged anti-govt plot in Turkey Istanbul: Three former Turkish military chiefs testified today over an alleged plot to discredit the Islamist-rooted government and bring about its overthrow, Anatolia news agency reported.

The former heads of the army, the air force and the navy, respectively Aytac Yalman, Ibrahim Firtina and Ozden Ornek, gave evidence for several hours to prosecutors on the so-called Ergenekon network.

Ergenekon is a nationalist-secularist network which allegedly had a broader plan to plunge Turkey into political chaos, using assassinations of prominent people, to pave the way for a coup against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which opponents accuse of undermining Turkey's secular system.

The three ex-military chiefs were still in service in 2004 when military forces twice attempted to seize power, according to an indictment in the Ergenekon probe under way since October last year.

The Turkish chief of the general staff at the time, General Hilmi Ozkok, has also been questioned by investigators. Turkish media has speculated that Ozkok, considered a moderate, was responsible for stopping the coup attempts.

PTI