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Turkey’s trial of the century

A crime scandal that is rocking Turkey's elite may be just what the country needs

By Nicholas Birch   August 2009

As I reported for Prospect in June, Turkish justice has never known anything quite like the trial that is now underway in a high-security prison outside Istanbul. The indictment sheet includes so many codenames it reads like a Grand National line-up: Blondie, Moonshine, Sea Glitter, Velvet Glove.

The scandal that is gripping Turkey first erupted in March 2007, with the publication of diaries allegedly written late in 2003 by Ozden Ornek, then commander of Turkey’s navy. The diaries detail how Ornek and like-minded officers, convinced the Islamic-rooted ruling AKP party wanted to impose sharia law on the country, plotted to…

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