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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Turkish leaders to meet as coup plot storm gathers
ISTANBUL, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Turkey's political and military leaders meet on Thursday as a storm gathers over a coup plot investigation against the armed forces which is threatening stability and investor confidence in the EU-candidate country.
Tension between the ruling AK Party, which has roots in political Islam, and the secular armed forces risks rising yet further during the day when prosecutors question former commanders of the air force and navy, and may charge them.
Twelve officers, some of them admirals, have already been charged with plotting in 2003 to overthrow the government which hardline secularists believe harbours a hidden Islamist agenda.
The growing crisis has already taken its toll on Turkey's financial markets. Turkish stocks closed down 3.4 percent and the lira hit a seven-month low on Wednesday.
The military has ousted four governments since 1960, but has said the days of coups are now over. (Writing by Daren Butler; editing by David Stamp)