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Ex-Chief of Turkish Army Is Arrested in Widening Case Alleging Coup Plot

A civilian court orders the arrest of Turkey’s former head of the army, the highest-ranking officer so far to be charged with leadership of an illegal network accused of seeking to overthrow the government.

(NYT) Istanbul — In an unprecedented move, a civilian court ordered the arrest of Turkey's former head of the army, the highest-ranking officer so far to be charged with leadership of an illegal network accused of seeking to overthrow the government.

Turkish news outlets reported late Thursday that Gen. Ilker Basbug, who was the chief of the army's general staff from 2008 until his retirement in 2010, denied the charges, calling it a tragicomedy that the former commander of one of the world's strongest armies would be accused of belonging to a terrorist organization.

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Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

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