Turkey: Court charges 8 more officers in coup plot

February 25, 2010 10:49


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ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish court on Thursday charged more ranking military officers with plotting to topple the Islamic-rooted government, increasing the number of jailed officers to 20 — including five admirals and three generals.

The court in Istanbul ordered the jailing pending trial of eight more officers, including five active-duty officers and two generals. Police escorted more officers — including former chiefs of the Navy and Air Force and the ex-deputy chief of the military — to the court house for questioning on Thursday.

The court acted hours before a critical meeting between the president, the military chief and the prime minister to discuss tensions over the largest-ever crackdown on the military in Turkey. Gen. Ilker Basbug, the military chief, is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul at the presidential palace to discuss the crackdown before noon Thursday.

The unprecedented showdown between Turkey's ruling Islamic political movement and the country's fiercely secular military officers has worried businesses and investors, shaking the markets amid calls from opposition parties for early elections to end the turmoil.

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