Two of Turkey’s most senior retired generals are due in court today.
It’s a trial that may determine whether Prime Minister Erdogan succeeds in reigning-in the political power of his country’s military. The generals were among a nationalist secularist group arrested on suspicion of trying to undermine Erdogan by destabilising the country with armed attacks. Other suspects and alleged members of a group known as Ergenekon, include journalists, academics and business leaders. The case has split Turkey, fanned political tensions and sharply divided society. The prosecution wants life sentences against the generals for masterminding several coup plots against the ruling AK Party which is suspected by some of harbouring a secret Islamist agenda Many of the recent arrests have been known critics of Erdogan’s AK Party which rejects charges of trying to introduce Islamic rule Since elected to office Prime Minister Erdogan has reduced the power of the military to ease Turkey’s entry into the European Union. There have been protests for and against the trials. Earlier this month thousands gathered to protest against the arrest of the generals. Meanwhile the military considers itself a guardian of Turkey’s secular system and denies any links to the Ergenekon group.