Turkish court remands ex-army chief

By REUTERS
January 6, 2012 02:58

ISTANBUL - A Turkish court ordered a former chief of the powerful armed forces to be remanded in custody pending trial on Thursday on charges of attempting to overthrow the government, an unprecedented move likely to exacerbate long-running tensions with the military.

General Ilker Basbug, who retired in 2010, is the highest-ranking officer to be caught up in the so-called Ergenekon case, a long-running crackdown on EU candidate Turkey's once all-powerful military.

The decision to send Basbug to jail came hours after prominent Turkish journalists on trial over alleged ties to the ultra-nationalist Ergenekon network said the charges against them were politically motivated and "a massacre of justice" in a case that has raised concerns over media freedom in Turkey.


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