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Turkey arrests 5 serving officers in coup plot case

ISTANBUL (Xinhua) -- An Istanbul court arrested five serving officers of the Turkish Armed Forces Thursday in the Sledgehammer coup plot case.

Among the arrested are Adm. Fikret Gunes, commander of the navy 's northern task group, Adm. Ali Sadi Unsal, Col. Sencer Basat, Col. Mehmet Koray Eryasar and Maj. Cem Caglar, the Turkish Dogan news agency reported.

All of them were transferred to an Istanbul prison after their appearance in court.

The Sledgehammer case, a coup plan allegedly presented at an army seminar in 2003, reportedly involved plans to bomb mosques and provoke tensions with Greece, in order to spark political unrest and justify a military takeover.

Altogether nearly 200 officers have been charged with conspiracy.

The defendants have argued that the plot was just a theoretical scenario to help them plan for potential political unrest.

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