[QODLink]
People & Power
The struggle for Turkey
People & Power investigates the complex and fascinating power struggle re-drawing Turkey's political map.
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 13:32 GMT

When Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the Turkish Republic in 1923, he separated religion and state anointing Turkey's military as guardians of the secular constitution.

Since 1960 the military has staged three coups, each time justifying its actions by claiming  that secularism was under threat.
 
However in 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) were elected to power in a landslide victory. They describe themselves as Muslim democrats, put Turkey on the road to membership of the European Union, and embarked on a series of democratic reforms that some in the military bitterly opposed.
 
In 2007 news broke of a new military conspiracy to overthrow the government. Hundreds were arrested and charged with belonging to an underground network known as Ergenekon. A secret state-within-a-state, it had allegedly interfered in Turkey's political life for decades.
 
The trials that followed, which are still ongoing to this day, were hailed by the authorities as taking Turkey a step closer to full democracy. But the old secular elite called the proceedings a sham, designed to fatally undermine the military's once central role in the nation's affairs.

What might be the final twist in this complicated saga came in January last year when hundreds more current and former military officers were arrested for yet another plot known as Sledgehammer - its alleged mastermind was a former army chief-of-staff, General Cetin Dogan.
 
With General Dogan's trial now underway, Julia Rooke investigates the latest developments for People & Power.

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, January 12, at the follwing times GMT: Wednesday: 2230; Thursday: 0930; Friday: 0330; Saturday: 1630; Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930; Tuesday: 0330; Wednesday: 1630.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list