Turkey to make arrests over coup plot
A Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant for 163 military officers accused of plotting a coup against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Endogen.
Police arrested 133 suspects, including former Air Forces Commander Gen. Halil Ibrahim Firtina and former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Ozden Ornek in the courthouse on Friday.
The court issued arrest warrants for about 30 other suspects that did not attend the trial, including former first Army head retired Gen. Cetin Dogan, Turkish news daily Sunday's Zaman reported.
In total, 196 officers are on trial, with about three-quarters of them still serving, most of whom have been in and out of detention in the past year.
The remaining 29 are expected to surrender themselves at a courthouse in Istanbul on Monday, officials said.
The suspects are accused of a failed attempt to destroy Parliament and overthrow Erdogan's government under Sledgehammer" coup plot in 2003.
Turkey launched a campaign against the “Sledgehammer” suspects in mid-December of last year. According to the Sledgehammer plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through violent acts, among which were planned bomb attacks on the Fatih and Beyaz?t mosques in Istanbul.
Pic: Former Army chief retired Gen. Cetin Dogan was among those arrested over 2003 coup plot on Friday.
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