Turkey Indicts 86 for Coup Plot

Secularists allegedly tried to overthrow Islamic government
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 14, 2008 8:22 AM CDT
Istanbul chief prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin speaks to the media in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, July 14, 2008.   (Ibrahim Usta)
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(Newser) – Prosecutors today indicted 86 secular Turks—including high-ranking ex-military officials—on terrorism charges for their alleged involvement in plots to topple the Islamic-rooted government. The suspects, believed to include at least one former general and an opposition politician, are accused of having plotted to provoke a military coup to topple PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

The indictment is the latest episode in an ongoing power struggle between the government and secularists who—backed by the military, judiciary, and some trade groups—accuse Erdogan of pushing an Islamist agenda and making too many concessions to Christian and Kurdish minorities as part of the nation's bid to join the EU. Erdogan's opponents say the charges are part of a government attempt to silence critics. Forty-eight suspects have been jailed.