Turkish police detain 26 more in coup probe

Turkish police detained 26 people, including a journalist and a union leader on Thursday, media said, within the scope of the ongoing Ergenekon investigation, reported World bulletin.

Among the detainees are Mustafa Ozbek, the chairman of the Turkish Metal Union; strategist Erhan Goksel; Mecit Hazir and Pevrul Kavlak, the deputy chairmen of the union; Muharrem Asliyuce, the secretary general of the union; Suleyman Erdinc, the financial secretary of the union; and journalist Unal Inanc.

Police also carried out an investigation in the Mediterranean cities of Antalya and Isparta, northeastern city of Bursa, and Black Sea city of Tokat.

A police chief and police officers were sent from Antalya to Istanbul to be testified, whereas a member of the Special Operations Regional Directorate was detained in Tokat.

Police are expected to search a house in Bursa, and detain some more people in Isparta to get their testimonies.

Police are searching houses and workplaces of the detainees, who are to be sent to Istanbul where the Ergenekon case is going on.

An alleged criminal network that came to be known as "Ergenekon" was revealed after police seized 27 grenades, TNT explosives and fuses in a shanty house in Istanbul on June 12, 2007 and Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into weapons. Police waged operations in several provinces and detained a number of people, including retired senior army officers, journalists and businessmen for their alleged involvement in the network.

A criminal court in Istanbul began trying 86 suspects, 46 of whom were in prison, in the "Ergenekon terrorist organization" case on October 20, 2008. Among the suspects were retired general Veli Kucuk, Labor Party chairman Dogu Perincek, Cumhuriyet daily's editor-in-chief Ilhan Selcuk, and Professor Kemal Alemdaroglu, the former president of Istanbul University.

Retired general Sener Eruygur, the chairman of the Kemalist Thought Association; retired general Hursit Tolon; journalist Tuncay Ozkan; and Sinan Aygun, the chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce; were detained within the scope of the investigation.

Selcuk, Alemdaroglu and Aygun were later released. The prosecutor has not prepared an indictment regarding Eruygur, Tolon and Ozkan yet. Retired general

Eruygur was released from prison due to his health problems.

The 2,455-page indictment regarding the Ergenekon probe carried out by prosecutors Zekeriya Oz, Mehmet Ali Pekguzel and Nihat Taskin indicts 86 people on charges of attempting to overthrow Turkish government.

Prosecutors demanded life-imprisonment for some suspects including Kucuk, Perincek and Alemdaroglu on charges of attempting to overthrow Turkish government by force and inciting murder.

On January 7, police detained around 30 people within the scope of the investigation and sent to prison Ibrahim Sahin, a former head of the Special Operations Department, but released some former generals and the former head of the Higher Education Board (YOK).

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