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August 5, 2013 11:01 am

Turkey Jails 275 High-Profile Opposition Leaders for Allegedly Plotting Overthrow of Erdogan

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Turkey jailed 275 opposition leaders today, including army and police officers, journalists, writers and lawyers, for allegedly plotting a military coup to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israel’s Walla News reported.

Tear gas was used to disperse hundreds of protesters outside a special court set up at the Silibri prison, west of Istanbul, Walla News said.

The two main defendants in the case were Army General Lee Kuzuk and journalist Tonz’ai Aosekan, both sentenced to life imprisonment for heading this underground movement.

Walla News said former Border Police commander Hassan Aisiz was sentenced to life imprisonment, and former police chief Adil Stz’n was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Communist Workers Party leader, Frinz’k Duo was sentenced to 117 years in prison, and writer Ergün Poyraz, convicted of incitement, was sentenced to 29 years in prison. Goliir Komorg’o, another writer, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

A total of 21 defendants were acquitted.

Since coming to power in 2002, Erdogan’s government has arrested and imprisoned hundreds of soldiers and police officers, including active and retired personnel, Walla News reported. Conflict between the prime minister and the armed forces has intensified over the past two years, as the arrests continued and top military leaders resigned in protest.

In Turkey, today’s sentences were received as both a message to the army that Erdogan is the absolute ruler of the country and that the government will continue its witch-hunt aimed at discouraging civilian opposition. Human rights groups have expressed concern over the detentions and trials, Walla News said.

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  • Andrew

    It’s amusing that the same people in the West bemoaning the deposing of the Brothers in Egypt and acting like they’d have handed over power had they lost the election at the end of Morsi’s term are the same who’re pretending this wasn’t a Stalinist show trial.

  • Joe

    Thank you for reporting this.

  • R

    Jeez, isn’t it heart-warming to know that “human rights” organizations are CONCERNED about the detentions and trials?? Haven’t they got more than THAT to protest this new embodiment of Adolf Hitler??? How long are they going to wait to call a halt to this murderer-despot?