Turkish Military Leaders Held for Role in ’97 Coup

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ISTANBUL — A former general and 30 other officers were detained Thursday for their roles in a 1997 coup, continuing the clash between the government and the nation’s once-indomitable military.

Long considered the untouchable guardian of a staunchly secular state, the Turkish military has lost its immunity since the pro-Islamic government took power and paved the way for a series of cases against current and retired officers.

Hundreds of people — from the former head of the army and other officers to academics and journalists — have been arrested and accused of plotting to overthrow the current government through an ultranationalist network known as Ergenekon.

Many critics of the arrests have called it a pretext for a clampdown against government opponents, pointing out that actual coups remained unpunished while a broad spectrum of suspects in an alleged plot were being rounded up....

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