21 Oct 2008

Chaos at Turkey coup plot trial

The trial of 86 people accused of conspiring to overthrow Turkey's government has been adjourned until October 23 after chaotic scenes at the first hearing.

Within minutes of opening on Monday, lawyers and defendants complained that they could not hear in the overcrowded courtroom at a prison complex in Silivri, near Istanbul.

Judge Koksal Sengun asked spectators to vacate the room and, following an adjournment, proceedings started again in the afternoon.

Those on trial include a retired general, the leader of a small leftist and nationalist party, a newspaper editor, a best-selling author and a former university dean.

They are accused of being part of a nationalist network called Ergenekon - which takes its name from a legendary valley in central Asia believed to be the ancestral homeland of Turks - or of plotting an armed uprising.

Al Jazeera