The Prime Minister of Turkey has held a meeting with his Chief of the Armed Forces amid rising tensions between the military and the governing AK Party. The controversy has further strained relations already under pressure over an investigation into an alleged shadowy right-wing network accused of plotting a coup.
Now, the liberal newspaper Taraf has reported that the military have drawn up a plan to prevent the AK from interfering with Turkey’s traditional secular identity. The country’s generals have been put on the defensive over the report, which claimed the movement of Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen was also targeted. Taraf said the suspected plot included plans to discredit the AK Party, stir up internal divisions and plant weapons and ammunition in houses used by Gulen’s associates to suggest his group was involved in militant activities. Turkey’s military has a history of intervening in the country’s politics, including staging several coups, although in recent years it has taken a back seat. The secular elite says the AK has plans to undermine the separation of state and religion, an accusation the party denies.