In Turkey, hree top military officials reportedly worried about the Islamic roots of the ruling party which first came to power in 2002, are suspended for an alleged plot to overthrow the elected government. BBC says Turkish military is strongly secular in nature. It has a history of bringing down four governments since 1960.
Two generals and an admiral were suspended by the Interior and Defence ministries from their positions for being linked to a plot against the ruling Justice and Development Party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The suspended personnel were among 200 suspects going to trial next month. The officers have appealed to military judge to cancel the suspensions. They suspensions attracted mixed responses from various political parties in Turkey, some opposing and some welcoming.
The suspects are allegedly involved in a plot conspired to provoke a military takeover of the government after the ruling party AKP was elected first in 2002. The ruling AKP and the various secularist institutions are said to be at logger heads since AKP came to power. The proposed constitutional reform and headscarf for women have become contentions issues between AKP and the opposition party as well as military.
Meanwhile, the President Abdullah Gul sought to downplay the suspensions and said they need not be exaggerated. He said the suspensions are legal. Main opposition party termed the suspensions as “civil coup” or “revenge.” However, this allegation was denied by the Parliament speaker.
On October 29, the republic day for Turkey, main opposition leader have failed to attend an official ceremony at the presidential palace because they might have had to shake hands with the president’s headscarf wearing wife. The military also reportedly has boycotted the ceremony. The move was criticized by the Prime Minister whose wife also wears headscarf.
Turkey used to be the only ally for Israel in Islamic world, but relations have deteriorated since the present government has increasingly become critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Eleven Turks were killed by Israeli troops aboard an aid flotilla destined to Gaza, blockaded by Israel since its attack on it in 2007-08. The Israeli government was forced to apologise for mistreating Turkish envoy over a Turkish TV serial that depicted Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian civilians.