Turkey's ex-army chief jailed over coup plot

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Turkey's ex-army chief jailed over coup plot

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Turkey’s ex-army chief has spent his first night behind bars after being charged with trying to overthrow the government.

Retired General Ilker Basbug is the highest ranking officer to be caught up in the so-called Ergenekon case, a long-running crackdown on Turkey’s once all- powerful military and secularist establishment. He is expected to challenge the decision to jail him pending trial.

Basbug has been accused of ‘gang leadership’ and seeking to unseat the government by force. He denies prosecutors claim of having ties to an ultra-nationalist network and plotting several conspiracies against Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

Hundreds of defendants, including retired officers, academics, lawyers and journalists, are being tried on similar charges in a specially-built courtroom.

There have been increasing investigations into Ergenekon since 2007 and critics have accused Erdogan’s government of scaremongering to silence its opponents.

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