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Turkey Detains 26 in Alleged Coup Plot


Turkish authorities have detained 26 people suspected of involvement in plots to overthrow the country's Islamic-leaning government.

The state-run Anatolian news agency Wednesday reported that police staged raids in five provinces (Konya, Istanbul, Kocaeli, Mersin and Elazig) throughout the country. Those detained include several senior officials from the nationalist Worker's Party.

Last week, Turkish prosecutors indicted 86 people suspected of either forming or being part of a terrorist organization and attempting to overthrow the government by force.

The nearly 2,500-page indictment targets a hardline secularist network known as Ergenekon, the name of a mythical land where Turks were once said to have sought refuge.

Earlier this month, authorities arrested two retired Turkish generals in connection with the investigation. There are reports that journalists also are among the defendants.

Many of those arrested have been held for months without charge. The chief of the opposition says the government is using the investigation to silence its opponents.

Officials have been investigating Ergenekon since June of last year, when police found a cache of arms and explosives in a house in Istanbul.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.