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Turkey Begins Retrial Of Alleged Coup Plotters

An Istanbul court has opened the retrial of 236 military officers accused of plotting a coup to overthrow Turkey's Islamic-rooted government.

The retrial began October 3 after Turkey's constitutional court quashed the suspects' original convictions in June, saying their right to a fair trial had been violated.

In 2012, more than 300 retired and serving officers received sentences of up to 20 years imprisonment.

They were convicted of plotting to overthrow the government of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2003 in a plot dubbed "Sledgehammer."

Those convicted included former top army general Cetin Dogan as well as former chiefs of staff of the navy and air force.

Turkey's military was long seen as the guardian of the secular Turkish republic, carrying out three coups between 1960 and 1980 and forcing out an Islamist-led government in 1997.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP