Tuesday 22nd Jan 2019
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ERDOGAN CRITICISES PRE-TRIAL DETENTION OF MILITARY OFFICERS

Muslim World

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the lengthy pre-trial detention of hundreds of military officers, suggesting it was sapping army morale just as Ankara vows to keep up pressure on Kurdish militants. During his 10 years in power, Erdogan has brought to heel the once all-powerful armed forces, which see themselves as guardians of secularism and regularly intervened in politics and carried out coups in previous decades. Hundreds of serving and retired officers, including 20 per cent of military generals, have been jailed pending trial since 2005 on conspiracy charges and plotting to overthrow the government.

But as initial public support for the investigations dwindles, with critics and even sympathisers saying cases have spiralled out of control, Erdogan has distanced himself from the trials.
“There are now close to 400 retired and serving officers inside. The most serious are accused of forming organisations or belonging to one. If the provisions for these are certain, then finish the job,” Erdogan said. “But if there isn’t certainty, then the hundreds of officers should be treated accordingly. This disrupts the entire morale of the Turkish armed forces. How can these people then fight terror?” he said in an interview with Turkish television.



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