Turkish police arrest 30 more over alleged coup plot

[JURIST] Turkish police on Thursday arrested approximately 30 more people, including eight army officers, nine policemen, and a union leader, in an investigation of an alleged plot to overthrow the government [JURIST news archive] of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website]. The latest arrests [Al Jazeera report] included journalist Unal Inanc, political polling analyst Erhan Goksel, Turkish Metal Union Chairman Mustafa Ozbek and several other union officials, and numerous members of a police special operations unit whose leader was arrested earlier this month [BBC report]. Police are reportedly continuing to search additional suspects' homes and businesses, including television station ART. Also Thursday, Turkish prosecutors announced an investigation [Hurriyet report] into a program televised on the state-run TRT-2, which included interviews with a witness in the Ergenekon [BBC backgrounder] group case. The group is allegedly responsible for bombing the headquarters of the newspaper Cumhuriyet [media website, in Turkish], assassinating Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink [BBC obituary], and planning other attacks to provoke a military coup to topple the AKP.

Thursday marked the third wave of arrests connected to the alleged plot this month, with approximately 40 arrested January 7 and 12 more on January 11 [JURIST reports]. There are currently more than 100 suspects in custody, including journalists, academics, and Turkish Workers' Party [party website, in Turkish] leader Dogu Perincek [JURIST report]. All were outspoken opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile], whose AKP party narrowly escaped a ban [JURIST report] last year for purportedly undermining the country's secular principles. In October, the High Criminal Court in Istanbul began the trial [JURIST report] of 86 defendants in the coup investigation. The accused are said to belong to the secular Ergenekon group, which critics allege has been improperly investigated by the AKP as part of a drive to impose Islamic principles [Haaretz report] on the country in violation of the its secular constitution [text].

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.