Academia staff charged by court

Academia staff charged by court

Hurriyet Daily News with wires
Academia staff charged by court

refid:11457786 ilişkili resim dosyası

A court charged eight more suspects, including a university rector, as part of the Ergenekon probe, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported Friday.

The Istanbul court said the suspects charged Friday included Professor Mehmet Haberal, the rector and owner of Ankara's Başkent University, and three other former university rectors.

More than 200 people have been charged as part of the Ergenekon case, launched in 2007, with forming an illegal organization to provoke a series of events that would pave the way to a military coup.

Scores of academics face questioning
The prosecutors interrogated Haberal as well as 19 Mayıs University rector Professor Ferit Bernay, former rector of Uludağ University Professor Mustafa Yurtkuran, former rector of İnonu University Professor Fatih Hilmioğlu, Van Yüzüncü Yil University Professor Ayşe Yüksel, retired Professor Erol Manisalı, Hamdi Gökhan Ecevit and Omer Sadun Okyiltirik at Beşiktaş Courthouse in Istanbul. The court ordered their formal arrest. Meanwhile, Haberal became ill at Istanbul's Metris Prison and was sent to the cardiology department at Istanbul University's hospital Friday.

Haberal had organized meetings with people opposed to the government, reportedly with the aim of forming a new political movement or party. Haberal also owns Kanal B television station, whose headquarters were searched by police Monday.

The case, however, has divided Turkey as many believe it has turned into a witchhunt targeting government critics.

The Ergenekon case started after the discovery of 27 hand grenades on June 12, 2007, in a shanty house in Istanbul's Ümraniye district that belonged to a retired noncommissioned officer. The grenades were found to be the same ones used in the attacks on Cumhuriyet daily’s Istanbul offices in 2006.

The findings led to scores of detentions, putting many journalists, writers, politicians and academics under interrogation in what turned into a terror investigation that seeks to crack down on an alleged ultranationalist gang named Ergenekon, which is accused of seeking to topple the government by staging a coup in 2009 by initially spreading chaos and mayhem.

Ergenekon is originally a pre-Islamic Turkish saga that tells of Turks' re-emergence from defeat by trickery of their enemies under the guidance of a gray wolf.