Turkey PM ‘favours’ retrial of coup plot officers

ANKARA: Turkey’s embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Sunday said that he would favour retrials for hundreds of military officers jailed for coup-plotting.  In the latest sign of the turmoil that has gripped Turkish politics since the government was hit a huge corruption scandal last month, Erdogan appeared ready to reach out to the generals he once hounded.
“Our position on a retrial is a favourable one,” he told reporters in Istanbul before taking off on a tour of Asia.
“First we must establish the legal grounding for fresh trials,” he said, offering no further details but adding he hoped to obtain parliament’s support for the process.
Erdogan’s statement comes after a weekend meeting with Metin Feyzioglu, head of the Union of Bar Associations, who submitted proposals in favour of the jailed officers.
The new development comes after the military command requested a review of the mass trials that sent hundreds of officers behind bars in 2012 and 2013, arguing that some of the evidence against them was fabricated.
Erdogan’s move comes as he and his ruling AKP party are embroiled in a bitter feud with the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a self-exiled Muslim cleric who wields tremendous influence across all levels of power. A huge corruption scandal which has implicated Erdogan’s entourage and dragged down some of his ministers erupted last month, with elections looming in March. (Agencies)

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