Army pension fund chief held in Turkey's 1997 'coup' probe

April 27, 2012 16:34

ISTANBUL - The head of Turkey's military-run business conglomerate was jailed on Thursday pending trial over the 1997 toppling of the country's first Islamist led government, raising a symbolic challenge to the military's economic power.

The Ankara court order to jail retired lieutenant-general Yildirim Turker along with eight other serving and retired officers, brought the number held pending trial to 35 since prosecutors launched an investigation earlier this month.

Turker, according to media reports, had been head of personnel in the General Staff and belonged to a group within the top brass, known as the Western Study Group, suspected of being behind moves to make prime minister Necmettin Erbakan quit 15 years ago.

The episode is often referred to as Turkey's "post-modern coup" as the generals used pressure behind the scenes rather than overt military force employed in three earlier coups.

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