ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was drowning in waves of arrests of military officers accused of coup conspiracies and called for the investigations, which his government has backed, to be wrapped up more quickly.
Around 50 retired and serving officers, some very senior, have been held over the last month in raids linked to the 1997 toppling of Turkey's first Islamist-led government. The arrests run parallel to trials of hundreds of officers, businessmen and academics accused of involvement in other alleged coup plots.
"These (waves of police raids) disturb the social peace. We too are seriously uneasy about this," Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday night on his return from a visit to Italy.
"The necessary steps should be taken and finished before moving on. But when these waves come one after the other, the country is drowned in those waves. I don't think this business should be dragged out this much," he added.