GeriGündem The Ergenekon operation
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The Ergenekon operation

ISTANBUL - The Ergenekon operation started with an investigation into the discovery of 27 hand grenades in a house in Istanbul in 2007.

So far 219 people have been detained with alleged links to the so-called Ergenekon organization, 113 of them have been arrested, while 106 people were charged.

 

The first two indictments accepted by an Istanbul court define Ergenekon as a "terrorist organization" and claim the suspects were planning provoking events that would pave the way for a military coup to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

 

Retired generals, business leaders, journalists, army officials and politicians were among those detained in several waves of the Ergenekon operation conducted across the country.

 

Attacks on the Council of State in 2006 and the building of Cumhuriyet daily in 2007 are claimed to have been carried out by the so-called Ergenekon organization to upset the nation.

 

The Ergenekon organization was also claimed to be the mastermind behind the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, and had been planning to kill Nobel prize-winner Orhan Pamuk.

 

The Ergenekon operation, deemed as the largest in years, has divided the public into three camps.

 

One camp believes the case is being used as a cover by the government to suppress its opponents, while another camp, mostly pro-AKP experts and media organs, say the case is major step in efforts to enhance Turkey's democracy.

 

The third camp, mostly academics and experts, believe the trial would not result in any concrete gains for democracy as the indictment in the case is weak.

 

High profile detainments or arrests as part of the operation include: 

 

-- Sener Eruygur - Retired General

-- Hursit Tolon - Retired General

-- Tuncay Ozkan - Opponent journalist 

-- Dogu Perincek - Labor Party leader

-- Kemal Alemdaroglu - Former rector of Istanbul University

-- Ilhan Selcuk - Owner of leftist, anti-AKP Cumhuriyet daily

-- Mustafa Balbay - Cumhuriyet daily journalist

-- Turhan Comez - Former AKP MP

-- Sinan Aygun - Ankara Chamber of Trade (ATO) chairman

-- Kemel Guruz - former head of the Higher Education Board (YOK)

 


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