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Turkish prosecutors seek arrest of colonel

 In this photo released by the Presidential Press Service, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, center, chairs military and civilian leaders during a meet...
 Television live systems line up in the background as photographers and cameramen try to record Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arriving b...
 In this photo released by the Presidential Press Service, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, seated right, chairs military and civilian leaders during ...

TURKEY MILITARY

In this photo released by the Presidential Press Service, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, center, chairs military and civilian leaders during a meet...

TURKEY MILITARY

Television live systems line up in the background as photographers and cameramen try to record Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arriving b...

TURKEY MILITARY

In this photo released by the Presidential Press Service, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, seated right, chairs military and civilian leaders during ...

A civilian prosecutor in Turkey on Tuesday demanded the arrest of a navy colonel on suspicion of conspiring to discredit the Islamic-rooted government.
The case highlights tensions between the government and the staunchly secular military, whose prosecutors earlier said there was no evidence implicating Navy Col. Dursun Cicek.
On Friday, parliament passed a law empowering civilian courts, not military ones, to prosecute military personnel in peacetime.
Civilian prosecutors questioned nine officers on Tuesday, but only asked for the arrest of Cicek by a court, the state-run Anatolia news agency said. It did not provide details on what charges he might face.
Also Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Abdullah Gul and Gen. Ilker Basbug, the military chief, held a seven-hour meeting of the National Security Council. They discussed the alleged military conspiracy in which Cicek was implicated.
"Reactions and thoughts have been expressed against statements and media reports that are aimed at fraying the state's institutions," the council said in a statement without elaborating.
"It has been noted that these kind of activities would not benefit our country," it said.
The alleged conspiracy came to light in Taraf newspaper, which printed a document said to be a blueprint for a smear campaign against Erdogan's party, including the use of the media to make it appear as corrupt and acting against its Islamic principles.
The document also suggests discrediting pro-government cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in the U.S., by arranging for the discovery of weapons and ammunition in houses of his supporters.
Cicek had denied that he had compiled such a plan and said the signature beneath the document was not his.
Military-backed secular elites fear Erdogan's party is trying to dismantle the secular political system in the predominantly Muslim country.
The military, which has staged coups in the past, regards itself as the guardian of secularism. Its political profile has been curtailed in recent years, as Turkey seeks to join the European Union. The military says it supports the country's EU bid.


Updated : 2021-06-13 01:29 GMT+08:00