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Turkish court set to give verdict in secularist 'Ergenekon' trial

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Turkish court set to give verdict in secularist 'Ergenekon' trial


A Turkish court is passing judgment on a number of people accused of conspiring against the government.

Up to 300 politicians, military personnel and businessmen are awaiting verdicts over their alleged part in the decade-long conflict between Turkish Premier Tayyip Erdogan and the country’s secularist establishment.

Prosecutors maintain a secularist ring – code-named Ergenekon – kept up a campaign of killings and bombings to trigger a military coup. They have called for life sentences for 64 of the defendants.

Former armed forces commander Ilker Basburg is among them. He denies the charges. Security is tight around the courthouse jail complex, following promises of a show of support for those on trial.

Journalist Ahmet Sik, who wrote a book criticising the case, was also arrested and prosecuted.

Critics, including the main opposition party, claim the charges are politically motivated and are simply aimed at stamping out any opposition.

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