2 Turkish ex-generals arrested amid power struggle


July 2, 2008

ISTANBUL - Turkish police arrested two retired generals yesterday on suspicion of plotting against the Islamic-leaning government as the rift between the prime minister and the defenders of the country's secular principles widened.......

Erdogan denied yesterday that the police operation in which the two former generals and 18 other people were arrested was politically motivated or designed to silence government critics, even though it was carried out just before top prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya outlined his case against Erdogan's party.......

Dozens of people, including retired military officers, have previously been detained during the investigation against an alleged network of extreme nationalists called "Ergenekon."

But onetime generals Hursit Tolon and Sener Eruygur, who were detained yesterday, were the highest ranking former soldiers to be arrested so far. Eruygur was a major organizer in antigovernment rallies last year.