Turkish military terms police move legal, new search launched

Turkey's military said it had no objections to police searching a special forces unit in connection with an investigation in a possible anti-government conspiracy.

Turkish military terms police move legal, new search launched

Turkey's military said on Tuesday it had no objections to police searching the headquarters of a special forces unit in connection with an investigation in a possible anti-government conspiracy.

Eight soldiers were detained when the search began on Saturdayafter reports of a plot to kill a deputy prime minister.

A civilian search of a military facility was the first time police had dared take such action, the new search is on Tuesday under way.

The military said in a statement it had acquiesced to the probe taking place at the Special Forces' Tactical Mobilisation Group's command centre in the capital Ankara, although the section being searched held documents containing state secrets.

"The search is totally within the legal framework, and it's understood that it will continue for some more time," the military said.

Detention orders for the soldiers being questioned were due to expire on Tuesday night, but a state-run television channel reported that they were being taken to court in the afternoon, where permission could be sought to hold them for longer.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has met military commanders several times in the past days and on Sunday denied any tensions with the armed forces.

The case erupted on Dec. 19, when police detained a colonel and a major whose car had been seen several times passing by the deputy prime minister's residence in the capital Ankara.

Despite the officers being swiftly released, Turkish media reported that they were suspected of plotting to assassinate Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

The media said the two men were detained again on Saturday, along with six others from special forces taken in for questioning.

Arinc said on Monday there was evidence that some people had "possible bad intentions", adding that it was inaccurate to describe it as an assassination attempt.

The media has reported that soldiers at the command centre were initially obstructive when the police first sought entry on Saturday, and the state prosecutor in charge of the operation had been barred from taking sensitive material out of the facility and was having to document each step of the search.


Agencies

Last Mod: 29 Aralık 2009, 14:52
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