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Turkey's PM Meets Armed Forces Chief


Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (center), Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug meeting in Ankara on February 25.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (center), Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug meeting in Ankara on February 25.

ISTANBUL (Reuters) -- Turkey's prime minister has met the head of the armed forces just two days after the arrest of two retired generals over an alleged coup plot risked renewing tension between the government and the military.

CNN Turk said both men attended a funeral and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan invited General Ilker Basbug to his office for unscheduled talks on February 28.

Last week authorities detained some 50 officers, later charging more than 30, in connection with an alleged 2003 plot to unseat the Islamist-rooted government.

Erdogan, Basbug and Turkish President Abdullah Gul held an unscheduled meeting on February 25, a move which went someway to diffusing tensions, but then on February 26, a second wave of military detentions followed and the charging of two former generals, raising the pressure.

Analysts say the country is becoming increasingly polarized between a secular establishment, including the military, and the ruling AK Party.
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