Eight more army officers were jailed by a Turkish court pending charges of plotting a coup, in a move that has increased tension between the country’s government and the armed forces. “The eight current and retired officers were remanded in custody by the Istanbul court last night, joining another 12 charged the previous day, the state-run Anatolian news agency said. Police detained about 50 officers in nationwide raids this week. President Abdullah Gul is hosting a meeting between top general Ilker Basbug and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara at 11 a.m. in a bid to ease tensions. Turkish stocks gained after falling the most in two weeks yesterday as the investigation widened divisions between Erdogan and the army, which has ousted four governments since 1960 and sees itself as the defender of Turkey’s secular rules. The prime minister, whose Justice and Development Party has roots in political Islam, says Turkey must reduce army influence in politics to qualify for European Union membership. Gul’s call for a meeting suggests he wants to ‘soothe the ongoing tension,’ Inan Demir, chief economist for Finansbank AS in Istanbul, wrote in an e-mailed report. The meeting may ‘serve to ease the acute phase of the ongoing political conflict and provide the markets with a much-needed respite.’”
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