Turkey's ex-military chief tells court of gov't unease

August 2, 2012 17:05


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SILIVRI - Turkey's former military chief told a court trying coup plot charges on Thursday that unease about the Islamist-rooted government had led commanders to raise the idea of issuing a written warning to it in 2003.

The testimony from General Hilmi Ozkok, called as a witness in the trial of nearly 300 defendants accused of seeking to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government, shed new light on military thinking at the time of the alleged plots.

Ozkok was head of NATO's second largest armed forces between 2002 and 2006, the first four years that Erdogan's AK Party was in power. At the time there was widespread concern in the secularist establishment, including the military, that the party had a secret Islamist agenda.

Ozkok is the third former general staff chief to testify in trials of alleged secularist conspiracies against Erdogan.

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