Turkish PM criticizes detentions of military officers

By REUTERS
January 26, 2013 21:14

 
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ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the lengthy pre-trial detention of hundreds of military officers, suggesting it was sapping army morale just as Ankara vows to keep up pressure on Kurdish militants.

During his 10 years in power, Erdogan, whose party has moderate Islamist roots, has brought to heel the once all-powerful armed forces, which see themselves as guardians of secularism and regularly intervened in politics and carried out coups in previous decades.

Hundreds of serving and retired officers, including 20 percent of military generals, have been jailed pending trial since 2005 on conspiracy charges and plotting to overthrow the government.

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