By Suzan Fraser
ANKARA (AP) — A Turkish court formally arrested nine more people Sunday for ties to an alleged secularist plot to bring down the Islamic-rooted government, and police detained another 33 suspects in the case, state media reported.
Ibrahim Sahin, a former police chief, was among those arrested, according to the Anatolia news agency. Prosecutors say the alleged plot aimed to destabilize Turkey through a series of attacks and trigger a coup in 2009.
All nine were charged withmembership in a terrorist organization and ordered jailed pending trial. The court also jailed four colonels and lieutenants on similar charges Saturday.
Eighty-six other suspects are already on trial in the case. They have been accused of planning an armed uprising and being part of an ultranationalist network called Ergenekon — which takes its name from a legendary valley in Central Asia.
At the heart of the trial is a clash between the growing clout of Turkey’s Islamic class and its traditional secular and military elite. The case has raised concerns about political instability in Turkey, which has seen four governments ousted by the military since 1960.
An indictment says the suspects were involved in a series of high-profile attacks and planned to kill Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Nobel literature laureate Orhan Pamuk, prominent Kurdish politicians and the country’s military chief, to cause chaos.