World Bulletin / News Desk
Fifteen active duty high-ranking military officers who stood trial without arrest but were sentenced to jail time in the Sledgehammer coup case, which concluded on Friday, have been arrested over the past two days.
Ten military officers were arrested on Sunday by the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. Arrest warrants were issued in absentia for these officers, including Maj. Gen. Ayhan Gümüş, Brig. Gen. Suat Dönmez and colonels Namık Sevinç, Erdinç Altıner, Fahri Yavuz Uras, Ergin Kılıç, Erdoğan Koçoğlu, Levent Ergün and Ali Cengiz Şirin. The generals and colonels were later sent to jail.
Of these 10, Gümüş was sentenced to 16 years in prison on coup plotting charges and the other suspects to 13 years, four months each.
The remaining five were arrested on Monday by the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court. Among the arrestees was Maj. Gen. Atilla Özler, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Sledgehammer is a suspected coup plot believed to have been devised in 2003 with the aim of unseating the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government through violent acts. According to the Sledgehammer plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through acts of violence, among which were planned bomb attacks on the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in İstanbul. The plot allegedly sought to undermine the government to lay the groundwork for a coup d'état. The military, which has overthrown three governments since 1960 and pressured a conservative government to step down in 1997, has denied the existence of such a plan.
The Sledgehammer trial, which began in 2010, was concluded on Friday by the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court at the 108th hearing of the case. The court handed down 20-year prison sentences to three retired generals who were key suspects in the case.
Former 1st Army Commander retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, former Air Force Commander Gen. Halil İbrahim Fırtına and former Navy Commander Adm. Özden Örnek were initially given life imprisonment but the court said the three would only serve 20-year sentences because they were unsuccessful in their bid to topple the government.
There were 365 suspects, all retired or active duty members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), in the Sledgehammer coup case, 250 of whom were under arrest during the trial.
Today's newspapers cover Turkey's ruling AK party's congress to elect a new party chairman, and Erdogan's handing over the AK Party leadership to Davutoglu.
Scores of foreign dignitaries from sixty-seven countries and eight international organizations are expected to attend his inauguration ceremony in the Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday.
The U.S. administration designated Charge D'affaires to Ankara to participate the inauguration ceremony of president-elect Erdogan.
Erdogan said he would ask incoming prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a new government on Thursday and a new cabinet of ministers would be announced the following day.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect on Tuesday, bringing 51 days of relentless Israeli attacks to a halt in the blockaded coastal enclave.
Today’s newspapers cover Turkey’s ruling AK party’s congress to elect a new party chairman, and thousands of Turks forming what is hoped to be the world’s largest portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey.
It is not yet clear who he will be meeting during his stay, but there are believed to be no plans for him to meet Turkish Foreign Minister-turned-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
The nation recorded 162,445 medical tourists by the end of the first half of 2014.
At least 100 people are arriving from Iraq each day, many of them smuggled across the border by locals, sometimes paying up to $1,000 per family.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it is coordinating with Turkish authorities to find the workers, kidnapped by militants on Monday.
Many Yazidis fleeing from the war in Iraq are also waiting for shelter on the border with Turkey, according to some reports.
The advance of ISIL has alarmed Ankara and its Western allies, forcing them to step up intelligence sharing and tighten security cooperation.
Turkish dailies on Tuesday report on outgoing President Gul's farewell to the public and to his counterparts, and the dam river tragedy in Turkey's southeastern province of Siirt.
The firms were asked to extend their bids until the end of the year, the Defence Undersecretariat said in a statement.
Turkish Union of Bars head Metin Feyzioglu said he will attend a new legal year ceremony and speak, after President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not attend in case of a Feyzioglu address.
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu is to become prime minister after Erdogan is sworn in as president August 28, said Deputy PM Bulent Arinc.