Turks accused of trying to kill deputy PM

Dec. 26, 2009 at 10:34 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Eight Turkish soldiers have been arrested in connection with an alleged assassination plot against Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, the army said.

The military personnel were questioned by a prosecutor Friday before being transferred to army headquarters in Ankara, the BBC reported Saturday.

The detentions come amid mounting tension between the Turkish army, which reportedly sees itself as the protector of the country's secularism, and the governing AK Party, which is rooted in Islam.

A note posted by the General Staff on its informational Web site said the detainees were working at a center in Ankara and two were members of the special forces. Computers belonging to the two were seized, the Turkish news agency Anadolu Ajansi said.

The officers were investigating another military official living nearby, the BBC said.

Dozens of people, including academics, journalists and generals accused of scheming to overthrow the government, have been tried in Turkey this year.

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