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The White, Black and Gray Of the Ergenekon Trial

That fervent belief in secrecy is behind the excesses of the Ergenekon case in Turkey.
Protesters hold Turkish flags as they gather near a courthouse in Silivri, where a hearing on people charged with attempting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government is due to take place, August 5, 2013.  A Turkish court sentenced retired military chief of staff General Ilker Basbug to life in jail on Monday for his role in the "Ergenekon" conspiracy to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The court judges, announcing verdicts on the 275 defendants in the

Since its genesis in 2007, the Ergenekon trial has been quite hard to grasp by Turks themselves, let alone foreigners — for the case, which ended last Monday with heavy prison sentences for 254 suspects, is probably the most complicated in Turkish legal history. The indictment is longer than 5,000 pages, whereas the attached documents of evidence number more than a million. And the suspects — most of them now convicts — include a staggering scope of people ranging from retired generals to journalists, from university professors to mafia celebrities.

In Turkey, there are broadly three different views about this case:

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