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Turkish court frees army chief Ilker Basbug jailed for plotting coup

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Turkish court frees army chief Ilker Basbug jailed for plotting coup

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A Turkish court has released a former army chief who was jailed for plotting to overthrow the government.

Ilker Basbug was given a life sentence in 2013.

“The great Turkish nation soon realised that it was not possible to accuse a state chief Major General and its military structure to be at the head of a terrorist organization and that we had nothing to do with ‘putschist’ activities,” Ilker Basbug said on his release on Friday evening.

The order to free him came after Turkey’s constitutional court ruled that Basbug’s detention for his alleged role in the “Ergenekon” conspiracy violated his rights.

The move could set a precedent for more than 200 other defendants who’ve been jailed over the Ergenekon affair.

It comes as Erdogan is engaged in a power struggle with some members of the judiciary who had helped him jail Basbug and other army officials.