Turkey jails 1997 coup suspects pending trial

April 16, 2012 12:45


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ISTANBUL - Four generals, including a former deputy chief of staff, accused of ousting Turkey's first Islamist prime minister in 1997 in a coup, were put under pre-trial detention on Monday, the latest move against a once all-powerful military.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), which itself has Islamist roots, has sought to curb the military's political influence and prosecutors have pursued officers suspected of plotting against current and former governments.

An Ankara court decided over the weekend that former deputy chief of staff Cevik Bir and other officers should be held under pre-trial detention to remove any risk of them fleeing, having ordered on Thursday they should be questioned over their role in the overthrow of prime minister Necmettin Erbakan 15 years ago.

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