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Turkey's military and political leaders in crisis talks

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Turkey's military and political leaders in crisis talks

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Abdullah Gul and armed forces chief General Iker Basburg have met for talks to ensure a crisis over coup allegations does not spiral out of control. Tensions between the ruling AK Party, accused by opponents of having an Islamist agenda and the secular armed forces remain high.

Twelve officers, some of them admirals, have already been charged with plotting to overthrow the government in 2003. Serving military commanders are warning of a “serious situation” after an emergency meeting to discuss the investigation.

Later today prosecutors plan to question retired air force commander Ibrahim Firtina, former navy commander Ozden Ornek and former deputy chief of staff Ergin Saygun who could also face charges.

The military has ousted four Turkish governments since 1960 but European Union-backed reforms have helped weaken the generals who once considered themselves the guardians of the nation’s secular system.