ISTANBUL - Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan's decade-old battle with secularist opponents in
Turkey is approaching a decisive moment as nearly 300 people charged
with attempting the violent overthrow of his government prepare their
In a courthouse within a huge prison complex near
Istanbul, a state prosecutor will sum up his case this week against the
defendants accused of membership of "Ergenekon", an alleged underground
network of nationalist coup plotters.
The trial has drawn
accusations of political influence over the judiciary. The defendants
are a diverse crowd including politicians, academics, journalists and
retired army officers, notably former armed forces chief Ilker Basbug.