Turkey trial: Three army generals jailed for 'coup plot'

A Turkish court has sentenced three former
army generals to 20 years in jail each for
plotting a coup.
Nearly 330 other officers - including some senior
military figures - were also convicted for their
involvement in the plot.
Thirty-four people were acquitted. All the
defendants denied the charges.
The officers were accused of plotting to bomb
mosques and trying to trigger a war with Greece in
order to justify a military coup.
'Unfair and unlawful'
Former army generals Cetin Dogan, Ozden Ornek
and Ibrahim Firtina were initially given life
sentences by the court in Silivri, near Istanbul, but
then their sentences were dropped to 20 years.
The defendants denounced the evidence as
fabricated and accused the government of carrying
out a witch-hunt against the armed forces.
Gen Dogan, former commander of Turkey's First
Army, branded the two-year trial "unfair and
He is accused of being the mastermind behind the
2003 alleged plot.
"Here we see a process unfolding to make the
soldiers of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk, the founder of
modern Turkey), who give their lives for their
country, to pay the price of their commitment to the
republic and its principles," he said, according to
court documents.
Prosecutors say "Operation Sledgehammer" was a
conspiracy to trigger a coup against the elected
government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey's military has long seen itself as the
guarantor of the country's secular constitution.
It staged three coups between 1960 and 1980 and
has a history of tension with the Justice and
Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Erdogan.

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