World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's General of Staff has told the Public Prosecutor's Office in the capital Ankara to restart the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer cases against members of the Turkish Armed Forces.
"If the complaint is accepted, a retrial will be a certainty," said Haluk Peksen, one of the defence lawyers in the trial of more than 300 officers sentenced in 2012 over the "Sledgehammer" conspiracy, said to have included plans to bomb Istanbul mosques and trigger an army takeover.
Erdogan has cast the corruption scandal which erupted last month as a foreign-backed plot to undermine him, and has responded by purging some 70 police officers connected with the inquiry.
The military's move comes just over a week after Erdogan's top political adviser, Yalcin Akdogan, stirred controversy by suggesting that the government and armed forces had both been victims of similar conspiracies involving the judiciary.
"Those who plot against their own country's national army ... and a civil administration which has won its way into the people's heart, know very well they are not doing something for the good of this country," Akdogan wrote in a column in the Star newspaper on Dec. 24.
Erdogan's backers accuse Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Turkish cleric with strong influence in the police and judiciary and a former ally of the prime minister, of connivance in the corruption investigations. Gulen denies the allegation.
Ergenekon, often referred to as the hidden 'deep state' of Turkey, became the target of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government shortly after he came to power. The case saw the arrest, trial and sentencing of a number of current and former members of the Turkish armed forces, officials and journalists.
Likewise, the Sledgehammer case refers to an attempt to remove Erdogan via military coup, and also saw the sentencing of a number of high profile individuals.Last Mod: 03 Ocak 2014, 10:06