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    Heavy meeting traffic between top Turkish officials on Ergenekon

    Hurriyet Daily News Online
    08.01.2009 - 10:28 | Son Güncelleme:

    The latest detainments in the controversial Ergenekon case were brought to the table in the Turkish capital Ankara in talks between top officials in both surprise and regular meetings on Thursday. (UPDATED)

    Turkey’s army chief, Gen. Ilker Basbug had paid an unscheduled visit to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office ahead of his weekly meeting with President Abdullah Gul.


    Both the army and the prime minister's office confirmed the meeting. The prime minister's office said the meeting was made at the request of Basbug and "the latest developments" were discussed, while the army took a further step forward in elaborating on the discussion by saying the talks focused on Wednesday's detainments.


    "The commander of the Turkish Armed Forces has submitted his opinions and assessments, especially on yesterday's developments, in his meetings with Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. President," the army said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.


    No further details are available on the particulars of the talks. Turkish markets fell on the news which incited fears of a renewed confrontation between the army and the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.


    The meetings came a day after the highest ranking commanders of the Turkish army held an emergency meeting late Wednesday, as three retired general, as well as a serving colonel, were detained in the so-called Ergenekon operation.


    The probe was launched in 2007 to crackdown an illegal gang allegedly planning to stage a series of incidents that would eventually provoke a military coup.


    The detainments of high-profile opponents of the AKP have fuelled charges that the ruling party is launching a witch hunt against its opponents.



    Basbug met with President Gul after his almost 1.5 hours-long meeting with Erdogan ended.


    Gul, on the other hand, held discussions with Interior Minister Besir Atalay as the Basbug-Erdogan summit was underway.


    Erdogan was later visited by Justice Minister Ali Sahin and Atalay also attended the meeting.


    In Istanbul, meanwhile, Major Gen. Bulent Dagsali arrived at the police headquarters to hold talks with police chief, Celalettin Cerrah, broadcasters said.


    Cerrah said the visit was focused on the planning of a scheduled joint seminar of police forces and the army.


    The Ergenekon case, which divided Turkey, was filed against more than 80 people on the charge of forming an illegal organization to provoke a series of events that would pave the way for a military coup. However many believe the government use the Ergenekon case as an excuse to suppress its opposition.





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