High-ranking Turkish army officials face charges of ‘terrorism’

Published November 29th, 2015 - 05:00 GMT

Three high-ranking Turkish army officials have been accused of espionage and leading an armed terrorist organization, an Istanbul prosecutor said on Sunday.

General Ibrahim Aydin and a retired colonel, Burhanettin Cihangiroglu, are accused of forming and leading an armed terrorist organization as well as spying and trying to oust the Turkish government, according to Istanbul prosecutor, Irfan Fidan.

General Hamza Celepoglu has also been accused of forming and leading an armed terrorist organization and of trying to overthrow the Turkish government.

The three suspects were called to an Istanbul courthouse on Saturday as part of an investigation involving the search of trucks belonging to the Turkish intelligence (MIT) in 2014.

In January that year, several trucks were stopped by the local gendarmerie in southern Adana and Hatay provinces on the grounds that they were loaded with ammunition, despite a national security law forbidding such a search. 

Turkey's Interior Ministry said at the time that the trucks, which were reportedly carrying arms into northern Syria, were in reality conveying humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in the war-torn country.

On Thursday, two prominent journalists were arrested after publishing stories on the alleged arms smuggling to Syria.

Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of newspaper Cumhuriyet, and the daily’s Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul, are accused of espionage and of aiding an armed group.

The newspaper where both worked had published photographs and video footage purportedly showing arms-laden trucks near the border with Syria.


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