Two of Turkey’s most senior retired generals are in court in a landmark trial that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes will strengthen Turkey’s democracy. The generals along with 200 others including journalists, academics and business leaders are accused of belonging to an underground group bent on destabilising the country with violence. Not everyone agrees, critics claim the case is a witch-hunt against government opponents.
The country has suffered three coups in the last half-century by an army that sees itself as the true custodians of Turkey’s secular system and distrusts the Islamist background of the ruling AK party. The hearing is an indication that Erdogan is finally winning a six-year confrontation with the army and may assist the country in finally gaining EU entry. The European Union demands civilian control over the military. The army denies any links to the group and has not intervened in the investigation.