Turkey Navy commanders resign over coup court verdict

Turkey Navy commanders resign over coup court verdict
Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:49:09

Turkish admirals and other high-ranking Turkish naval officers have reportedly resigned in protest at the verdict rendered in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case.

Turkish Coast Guard Commander Vice Admiral Atilla Kezek, Coast Guard Commander Rear Admiral Sami Orguc and several other high-ranking members of the Turkish navy have allegedly resigned from their posts in protest against the decision of a Turkish appeals court that upheld the convictions of leading members of the Turkish military charged with plotting to overthrow the civilian government, Turkish Today’s Zeman newspaper reported on Monday.

The 9th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals announced its ruling in an appeal of a previous ruling in the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plot trial, upholding convictions of 237 of the defendants, while acquitting 88 of the accused.

Sledgehammer is a coup plot created at a military gathering in 2003. According to the plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through violent acts, among which were planned bomb attacks on the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in Istanbul.

The plot allegedly sought to undermine the government, laying the groundwork for a military takeover. Those convicted were found guilty of making a failed attempt to overthrow the government.

Turkey's appeals court maintained convictions of top retired military officers on charge of leading a plot to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

Ruling in a politically divisive case, the Turkish appeals court on October 9 upheld the convictions of 237 military officers for plotting to overthrow the government in 2003.


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