Turkey's former Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug joins "Silent scream," a platform of the family members of jailed army officers, accused of coup plot, in Istanbul. Turkey, Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
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Turkey ordered the release of five men convicted of plotting a coup, days after an ex-military chief was freed in a case that has come to highlight a power struggle between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and a U.S.-based Islamic cleric.The five -- a journalist, two lawyers, a retired colonel and a convicted gang leader -- were among hundreds convicted in the "Ergenekon" case, which played a central role in Erdogan's drive to break the political power of Turkey's military.Among others the Istanbul court ordered to be freed on Monday was lawyer Alparslan Arslan, jailed for life after killing a judge and wounding four others in an attack in 2006 .The abolition of the special courts, driven by Erdogan's desire to purge Turkey's judiciary of Gulen sympathisers, has also led to the release of prisoners involved in other cases.
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