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Turkish Court Agrees to Hear Case Against 86 in Alleged Coup Plot

A Turkish court has agreed to hear a case against 86 people accused of plotting to overthrow the country's Islamic-leaning government by force.

Turkish media reports say Istanbul's criminal court has accepted the indictment against the suspects. The court will hold its first hearing in October.

Prosecutors indicted the 86 last week on charges of either forming or being part of a terrorist organization and inciting violence with the aim of bringing down Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

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. Another 26 people were detained Wednesday on suspicion of involvement.

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.

The case has increased political tensions in Turkey, which is also facing a case to shut down the ruling (AK) party for Islamist activities. The country's top court (the Constitutional Court) is to begin deliberations in that case next week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.