Turkey coup plots: Major suspects

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Hundreds of military officers have been arrested in Turkey over the last five years in connection with alleged coup plots. Dozens have been given long prison sentences.

Many are accused of having been members of a clandestine organisation called "Ergenekon", while others were convicted in a separate case called "Sledgehammer". They were allegedly involved in the "deep state" - a shadowy, powerful network of militant secularists.

The following are some of the most senior officers and other key figures to stand trial.

General Ilker Basbug

Gen Basbug - May 2010

Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) from 2008 to 2010, Gen Basbug is the most senior officer implicated in the alleged coup plots.

On 5 August 2013, he was jailed for life at the high-profile Ergenekon trial. Life sentences were also handed down to 16 of his 274 fellow defendants. They were mostly high-ranking officers, but also included a politician, a lawyer and a journalist.

Gen Basbug was arrested on 5 January 2012 and accused of leading a terrorist group attempting to topple Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development (AK) Party government, which is rooted in Islam.

His arrest followed allegations made by officers involved in another trial that he ordered the creation of anti-government websites. He rejected the charges, describing as "tragicomic" attempts to implicate him in terrorist activity.

He became a full general in 2002 and for many years led Turkey's military campaign against the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

General Hasan Igsiz

Gen Igsiz was sentenced to life at the Ergenekon trial in August 2013.

A former head of the prestigious First Army and deputy chief of the general staff operations department, Gen Igsiz was proposed as head of the land forces in 2011. But his candidacy was blocked because he had been named in one of the plots.

He has been described as "the number one suspect" and was found guilty of orchestrating an internet campaign to discredit the AK party. He was arrested in August 2011.

General Cetin Dogan

Another former First Army commander, in 2003 Gen Dogan hosted at his headquarters a war simulation workshop, alleged to be a dress rehearsal for a coup and forming the basis of the so-called "Sledgehammer" case. He maintained that the workshop was aimed at preventing a hypothetical situation involving political unrest.

He was also accused of preparing documents related to Sledgehammer. He was arrested in July 2010 and in September 2012 he was sentenced to 20 years in jail for plotting a coup.

Admiral Ozden Ornek

Adm Ornek - photo 2003

Adm Ornek, who was navy chief between 2003 and 2005, is alleged to have written a diary containing action plans for three coups that were being prepared.

The diary was published by a magazine in 2007, which was subsequently closed down by military prosecutors. He maintains that the diary was a forgery.

He was arrested in July 2010 in connection with the Sledgehammer case. In September 2012, he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

General Veli Kucuk

The retired general was accused in the first Ergenekon indictment in October 2008 of running a secret unit within the police responsible for bombing and killings. He was also accused of involvement in an attempt to assassinate the writer Orhan Pamuk. He was arrested in July 2008 and sentenced to life at the Ergenekon trial in August 2013.

General Sener Eruygur

The former head of the Gendarmerie General Command (JGK) is currently the chairman of the Ataturk Thought Association, an organisation which aims to uphold the principles of founder of the secular Turkish state. He is alleged to have taken part in two coup attempts in 2004, and was indicted in March 2009. He was sentenced to life in prison at Ergenekon trial in August 2013.

General Halil Ibrahim Firtina

Gen Firtina was air force commander from 2003 to 2005. He was arrested in connection with the Sledgehammer case in July 2010, and sentenced to 20 years in jail in September 2012.

General Aytac Yalman

Land forces commander 2002-04. Arrested in connection with the Sledgehammer case in July 2010.

General Nusret Tasdelen

Former commander of Aegean Army and head of the army's educational command. Arrested in August 2011 for setting up anti-AK websites. Sentenced to life at the Ergenekon trial in August 2013.

General Ismail Pekin

Former general staff intelligence chief, arrested in August 2011. Sentenced to seven years at the Ergenekon trial.

Nedim Sener

Nedim Sener - 5 March 2011

Still on trial. A highly acclaimed journalist for the opposition newspaper Milliyet, Nedim Sener won a press freedom award for a book he wrote about the assassination of the ethnic Armenian writer Hrant Dink, in which he blamed the security forces.

He was arrested on March 2011 for alleged involvement in the Ergenekon plot, said to be acting as its media wing. He and 12 fellow journalists argue that they are being targeted for the content of their articles and that incriminating files found on their hard drives were placed by hackers.

Ahmet Sik

A journalist who wrote a book about the Ergenekon group, and who is known for reporting on human rights abuses and on what he describes as illegal Islamist networks operating within the Turkish state. Arrested in March 2011 with Nedim Sener.

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