ISTANBUL, Turkey, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The Turkish armed forces said Thursday another coup d'etat allegedly plotted by members of the military was actually part of a military exercise.
The Hurriyet Daily News reported the military confirmed in a statement the plan detailed in the Daily Taraf Wednesday was not an actual plot to overthrow the Turkish government, but a scenario used in a military exercise program between 2003 and 2006.
"No one who has any mind or any conscience can believe in the allegations put forth based on this plan," the Turkish armed forces said in a statement. "Taking the allegations seriously, commenting on them and creating knowledge pollution will especially serve the purposes of those whose aim is to create tension in society."
Today's Zaman reported the exercise, titled the "Balyoz (Sledgehammer) Security Operation Plan," was created by now retired Gens. Cetin Dogan, Ergin Saygun and Ibrahim Firtina.
Bianet said documents pertaining to the exercise detail the alleged coup plan as being aimed at "once and for all eliminating the obstacles to the movement of a secular and democratic order without rising the obstacles' reasons again."
The latest coup allegations come amid trials for more than 100 defendants, including retired generals, charged with plotting to overthrow the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The suspects, who also included journalists, professors and other intellectuals, are accused of belonging to an illegal ultranationalist group called Ergenekon.
The military has a history of carrying out coups, with four taking place between 1950 and 1997.