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Arrests in alleged Turkish anti-govt plot inquiry

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Arrests in alleged Turkish anti-govt plot inquiry

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Turkish police have arrested three academics in connection with an alleged widespread plot to overthrow the government. Among them was Mehmet Haberal, the head of Baskent University in Ankara who was held after a raid on his home. He also runs a TV channel that defends the secular legacy of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Police also raided the offices of the Association to Protect Contemporary Life — an organisation that promotes the education of young women — led by a staunch critic of the government. Nearly 150 people, including retired senior military officers, lawyers and academics are on trial for alleged links to a shadowy organisation called Ergenekon. Prosecutors claim they were planning a campaign of violence to force the army to overthrow the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His ruling AK Party has its roots in Islam, and has been accused of wanting to move Turkey away from its secular constitution.