Turkish media say police have seized documents indicating a group of
secular activists planned a coup to unseat the Islamic-leaning
Turkish newspapers said Thursday that authorities
uncovered the coup plot during raids on suspected members of hardline
secularist network Ergenekon.
They say the suspects planned to
stage illegal protests across Turkey on July 7, carry out
assassinations and trigger battles with security forces.
police detained 21 suspected members of the network Tuesday. Opposition
groups criticized the arrests, calling them part of a government
campaign to intimidate critics. Ruling party official Dengir Mir Mehmet
Firat rejected the accusation and said the government is acting
according to its obligations.
In another development, Turkey's
deputy prime minister defended the ruling AK (Justice and Development)
Party in court Thursday against charges that it seeks to undermine the
nation's secular system. Prosecutors want the Islamist-rooted party to
Deputy prime minister Cemil Cicek said he told the
Constitutional Court that the charges against his party have no legal
merit. He said he urged the judges to make a speedy decision on the
case because it is affecting the governance of the country.
chief prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, presented his case to the
court Tuesday, arguing that the AK party is trying to turn Turkey into
an Islamic state. The party denies the accusation.
has called for 70 AK party members, including Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, to be barred from politics.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.