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Demonstrators march in Turkey to warn off military

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Demonstrators march in Turkey to warn off military


Around 2000 people have demonstrated in Istanbul to voice their opposition to any attempt by the Turkish army to carry out a coup d‘état.

The march took place on the anniversary of the 1997 coup against the government of Necmettin Erbakan, but comes in a context of heightened tension between the military and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan again met with the head of the Turkish armed forces Ilker Basburg on Sunday. No details have emerged from the two hours of talks, but relations have soured following the arrest of some 70 senior military officers, accused of plotting to overthrow the government in 2003. 33 of them have been charged so far.

The Army sees itself as the guardian of the country’s lay tradition, while Erdogan’s party emerged from the Islamist movement.

He is seeking to change the constitution to make it harder for political parties to be outlawed and may seek a national referendum on the issue if he is unable to get sufficient support within parliament to push through the reform.

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