Turkey ex-army chief released pending coup trial

January 05, 2013 - 2:55:00 am

ANKARA: A former Turkish military chief has been released pending trial after authorities detained him for his alleged role in a 1997 coup that forced an Islamic-leaning government from power, local media reported yesterday.

The decision came late on Thursday after the retired general, Ismail Hakki Karadayi, testified before an Ankara court as part of a probe launched in 2011 that has resulted in the arrests of dozens of military officers.

The ex-general was released but will be kept under judicial control, the private NTV television reported. He was also banned from travelling overseas.

Karadayi was the head of the military chiefs of staff in 1997 -- the last time Turkey’s once all-powerful military was involved in changing the government, when it forced premier Necmettin Erbakan to step down.