Turkish general arrested over coup plot


JNN 06 Sep 2011 Istanbul  : Lt. General Ismail Hakki Pekin, the head of the Intelligence Department of the Turkish General Staff, has been arrested pending trial over an alleged plot to overthrow the government.

Pekin was arrested on the order of a Turkish court on Monday, AFP reported.

In an apparently related development, 22 people were charged with setting up websites for subversive purposes in July. The suspects include General Nusret Tasdeler, the head of the Turkish Army’s educational command, and retired General Hasan Igsiz, the former commander of the First Army.

Around 200 members of the military are thought to have planned attacks on mosques and worked to create tension in neighboring Greece to pave the way for a coup to topple the government, which was planned for 2003 but never carried out.

In response to the coup plot, codenamed Operation Sledgehammer, Turkish courts have ordered the arrest of about one tenth of the country’s generals.

The Turkish military has carried out four successful coups over the past 50 years.

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