Former Turk army chief says time for coups is 'over'

Former Turkish top general claims that Ergenekon is attempt Turkey's ex-top general unrest from Ergenekon probe.

Former Turk army chief says time for coups is 'over'

A former top Turkish general has claimed the era of coups is over and said an investigation into a suspected plot to topple the government is an attempt to ruin the reputation of the military.

Eighty-six people, including retired top military figures, are already being tried over their suspected involvement in a nationalist group known as "Ergenekon", accused of plotting to engineer an army coup with a campaign of killings and bombings.

The former Chief of Staff's comments in an interview with Hurriyet newspaper, published on Saturday, came a day after a military statement criticised the investigation for breaching principles of law, such as the presumption of innocence.

"The era of coups is over. It's not necessary anymore. Almost every week the (Chief of Staff) goes to the prime minister, and if there's a problem, it can be worked out with the prime minister or the president," Huseyin Kivrikoglu said.

"Step by step, the Turkish armed forces are being attacked. Sometimes by some newspapers, by some religious groups, and they've all chosen the military as its target."

Kivrikoglu was head of Turkey's armed forces from 1998 to 2002.

Earlier this month, dozens of people, including serving army officers, were also detained in the widening probe.

On Friday, a retired brigadier general was arrested.

Reuters
Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2009, 11:16
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