Turkish Police have detained the nation’s former navy and air force commanders. The military leaders are wanted for questioning over an alleged plot to topple the Turkish Government.
Turkish police have detained former heads of the air force and navy, among other retired and serving military officers. The move came in relation to an investigation into an alleged plot to undermine the Islamist-rooted government, and trigger a military coup.
The swoop added to a growing sense of foreboding in Turkey, where a clash between the government and the judiciary has already raised fears of a political crisis.
More than 40 people are detained, including former Air Force Commander Ibrahim Firtina, former Naval Commander Ozden Ornek, ex-Deputy Chief of the General Staff General Ergin Saygun and former Commander of the First Army Cetin Dogan.
The suspects held in Ankara, Izmir and Bursa were flown to Istanbul for questioning. Police have also searched various locations, including the homes of former generals.
The detained commanders are accused of plotting a plan called "Sledgehammer" aimed at destabilizing the AK Party government and justifying an army takeover seven years ago.
The army has allegedly plotted to provoke a crisis with old foe Greece and plant bombs in mosques in Istanbul to stir chaos. The detentions would have been unthinkable in the past for a military that has ousted four governments since 1960.
However, its powers have waned in recent years due to democratic reforms aimed at securing European Union membership, and most analysts doubt whether the armed forces would mount a coup.
Two of the detained generals have already testified to civilian prosecutors in a probe into an alleged far-right militant network called Ergenekon.
More than 200 people, including military officers, lawyers and politicians, have been arrested since the case came to light over two years ago.