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Ergenekon trial begins in Turkey

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Ergenekon trial begins in Turkey

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Dozens of members of a shadowy ultra-nationalist group are due to go on trial in Turkey later today, on charges of trying to topple the country’s government.

The case targets the ultra-nationalist group Ergenekon, which first came to light last year when a cache of explosives was discovered in a police raid on an Istanbul house.

Members of the group are accused of planning assassinations and bombings to trigger a military intervention and the overthrow of the government.

86 people, including newspaper journalists and the head of a small nationalist party, have been indicted in the investigation. Most have been openly critical of the governing AK Party.

Several high-ranking members of the armed forces have come under scrutiny, although the military has denied any link.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under pressure to show the trial is not a witch hunt against critics who accuse the AK Party of harbouring an Islamist agenda, which it denies.