Turkey charges 196 people of coup plot

09:11, July 20, 2010      

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A Turkish court on Monday charged 196 people, mostly retired senior army officers, of a coup plot to topple the ruling government, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

The 968-page indictment approved by an Istanbul court accuses the suspects of involving in an alleged conspiracy in 2003 to create chaos and pave the way for a military takeover, said Anatolia.

The report said that the alleged plot was drawn shortly after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002.

Retired navy chief Admiral Ozden Ornek, former air force commander General Halil Ibrahim Firtina, and former number two of the general staff, retired General Ergin Saygun were among the charged, said the report.

The indictment accuses all the defendants of "attempting to overthrow the government or prevent it from carrying out its duties through the use of force and violence," said Anatolia, adding it is not clear yet when the trial for the suspects would begin.

Local Dogan news agency said the suspects would face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of attempting to bring down the government.

Turkey's military forces have carried out or backed four coups to remove elected governments since 1960.

Source: Xinhua


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