World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish court on Friday accepted an indictment on Sledgehammer coup case over an alleged military plot to overthrow the AK Party government.
Sledgehammer is a suspected coup plot devised in 2003 at a military gathering. According to the plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through violent acts, among which were planned bomb attacks on the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in İstanbul. The plot allegedly sought to undermine the government to lay the groundwork for a military takeover.
Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment whose the 800-page document indicts 196 members of the military, both retired and on active duty, over their alleged roles in the coup plan.
Among those named in the indictment are Cetin Dogan, former head of Turkey's prestigious First Army, and retired air force commander Ibrahim Firtina, both of whom were first arrested early this year.
The indictment, prepared by Istanbul prosecutors, included calls for jail sentences of 15 to 20 years for the alleged perpetrators, Anatolian said. No date has been set for a trial.
The military has said there was no conspiracy and operation "Sledgehammer" was merely a war game exercise presented at a seminar.
The document points to retired Gen. Cetin Dogan, the former head of the 1st Army, as the prime suspect. The general was arrested twice earlier this year but later released from prison -- first due to health problems and then due to the fact that he poses a low flight risk.
There are more than 190 defendants in the Sledgehammer case.
Turkey's military, the second largest in NATO, has overthrown three governments since 1960 and pressured Turkey's first Islamist-led government into resignation in 1997.