Turkey Issues Arrest Warrants for Seven Senior Officers
A Turkish court issued arrest warrants for seven active generals and admirals pending trial over an alleged plot to overthrow the Islamist-rooted government, Anatolia news agency said Monday.
The suspects included Generals Nusret Tasdeler, the head of the army's educational command and Ismail Hakki Pekin, the intelligence chief of the general staff, NTV news channel said.
Retired General Hasan Igsiz, the former head of the First Army, is also among the suspects, Anatolia said.
There were no immediate reports of the officers being detained.
The officers were among 22 charged last month for attempting to oust the government led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), a liberal offshoot of a banned Islamist movement. They were accused of founding websites to publish anti-government propaganda.
About one tenth of the army's generals are already in custody over a separate 2003 coup plot dubbed "Operation Sledgehammer" that AKP officials say was hatched shortly after the party took power in 2002.
The suspects face 15-20 years in jail, though the case has been marred by serious doubts over the authenticity of some of the documents involved.
Last month, Turkey's military top brass resigned in a row with the government over the promotion of the jailed officers.
Tensions between Turkey's fiercely secularist military and the government have been building for years.
Since 1960, the military, which views itself as the defender of secularism in the country, has ousted four Turkish governments, including that of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mentor Necmettin Erbakan in 1997.