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Turkish ex-army chief on trial for 1997 coup

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s former military chief and 102 other people went on trial Monday for alleged involvement in the ousting of an Islamic-led government in 1997, as Turkey presses ahead with efforts to make generals account for decades of intervention in government affairs.

Retired General Ismail Hakki Karadayi, 81, and the other defendants face life in prison if convicted of charges of ‘‘overthrowing the Turkish government by force’’ for pressuring former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan to resign.

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The ouster was dubbed Turkey’s ‘‘post-modern coup’’ because unlike previous coups in Turkey, no tanks or soldiers were used to bring down the government, which was replaced by another coalition nominated by the president.

Karadayi served as the chief of the military staff from 1994 to 1998, at a time when the army was concerned by Erbakan’s efforts to raise the profile of Islam in the predominantly Muslim but secular country.

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