Turkey court opened military coup trial

On December 16, 2010, a Turkish court began the trial of 196 Turkish military officers accused of plotting to overthrow the government. The charges arose after the newspaper Taraf revealed the 2003 Balyoz Security Operation Plan, which included bombing mosques in Istanbul and provoking Greece into shooting down a Turkish fighter jet, in an attempt to destabilize the government. Turkey arrested numerous defendants in the alleged plot throughout 2009 and 2010. Turkey and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has faced multiple alleged coup plots in recent years, most of them linked with the Turkish secular nationalist group Ergenekon. The military and critics of AKP maintain that the alleged coup plots have been improperly investigated in order to impose Islamic principles against the country's secular constitution [PDF].


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