Ex-Turkish army chief arrested over alleged coup plot

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Ex-Turkish army chief arrested over alleged coup plot

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A Turkish court has remanded the country’s former military chief in custody on charges of attempting to overthrow the government.

General Ilker Basbug, who retired in 2010, is the highest-ranking officer to be caught up in a long-running investigation into Turkey’s once all-powerful military.

Several hundred suspects have been detained in relation to their alleged ties to the ultra-nationalist Ergenekon network.

Turkey’s state-run news agency says Basbug is facing preliminary charges of “gang leadership” and seeking to unseat the government by force.

Critics have accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of scaremongering to silence their opponents.

Turkey’s military leadership, once part of an old secularist political force, has seen its influence decline following a power struggle with Erdogan’s ruling AK party, which came to power in 2002.