Turkey foils plot to kill novelist

Authorities charge 13 people over alleged plans to mount a series of attacks.

    The group allegedly plotted to kill Turkish
    novelist Orhan Pamuk, above [EPA]

    Kemal Kerencsiz, a lawyer known for prosecuting writers and journalists under Turkey's article 301 which makes it a crime to insult "Turkishness", was among those facing charges of inciting armed revolt, according to CNN Turk.
     
    The EU, which Turkey is seeking to join, has called Article 301 an impediment to free speech and Turkish officials recently made moves to amend the law.
     
    Veli Kucuk, a retired general, Zekeriya Ozturk, a retired major were also among the group, the private broadcaster said.
     
    Seizure
     
    Officials have declined to comment on the Ergenekon case, which began with the seizure of explosives and weapons at a house in Umraniye, Istanbul, last summer.
     
    Turkish newspapers said this week the group had been planning to kill Pamuk, author of "Snow" and "My Name is Red", as well as several Kurdish politicians.
     
    The newspapers also said the group was preparing a series of bomb attacks ahead of a coup in 2009 against the Turkish government.
     
    Police are also reportedly investigating whether the suspects were involved in several politically motivated attacks, including the murders of Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist killed last year, and Andrea Santoro, an Italian Catholic priest.
     
    Some commentators have seen in the Ergenekon case the workings of a "deep state", a phrase that refers to nationalist elements in the security forces and state bureaucracy.
     
    Police have been observing Ergenekon, which is named after a valley in Turkish nationalist mythology, for several years and have compiled a 7,000-page dossier on the group and its activities, Turkish newspapers reported.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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