An Istanbul court has ordered the rearrest of 19 senior serving and retired military officers just three days after they were released pending their trial. They were originally detained in February.
The men are accused of plotting to overthrow the government. Among them is the currently hospitalised General Cetin Dogan, the former head of Turkey’s first army.
The officers are linked to the alleged 2003 “Sledgehammer” plot, which involved plans to bomb a mosque, shoot down a fighter jet, and blame Greece. The arrests of hundreds of thousands of people would have followed, destabilising the government, and allowing the army to step in.
The military denies the plot, and says it was a wargames scenario used for training.
Turkey’s military has led coups three times since the 1960s, but political reforms designed to smooth entry to the EU have lessened its influence.