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Tensions in Turkey rise after dozens are jailed in coup plot trial

Tensions in Turkey rise after dozens are jailed in coup plot trial
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The controversial trial in Turkey which has resulted in the jailing of a former military chief for life and the imprisonment of scores of other senior figures has divided the country.

The process against those said to be involved in the so-called Ergenekon plot to overthrow the Islamist rooted government has been criticised by opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a way to eliminate his enemies.

A defence lawyer said the verdict had not been a surprise, it reflected the allegiances and conflicts within Turkey’s judiciary.

The trial has been seen as a key test in Erdogan’s showdown with secularist and ,military opponents. One of his main scalps has been that of retired army chief General IIker Basbug.

Government spokesman Bulent Arinc said the trial had been justified:

“It is a fact that no one has any right to commit a crime. The court gave the best decision according to its deliberations and we will see what happens with the subsequent appeals,” he said.

After the verdicts police used water cannon to disperse protesters who refused to accept the judgements.

The defendants had faced charges ranging from membership of an alleged underground terrorist net work to instigating an armed uprising.

Their supporters claim they were trumped up charges.

  • Ergenekon trial protests

    Anadolu agency