Erdogan reaches out to Turkey's once-mighty generals with new bill

Erdogan takes side of military he once opposed

ANKARA - Turkey's government will present to parliament Wednesday a bill clearing the way for hundreds of military officers jailed for coup plotting to be retried, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said.
Under the proposals, eight specially appointed courts that convicted the soldiers in mass trials in 2012 and 2013 will be abolished and their case files passed to Turkey's regular criminal courts.
The proposal appears to be an attempt by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, currently battling a major corruption scandal, to reach out to Turkey's once-mighty generals after spending his 11 years in power clipping their wings.
The original trials in the special courts were criticised, with some defendants detained without a verdict and the military top brass complaining that some evidence was fabricated.
The bill also foresees cutting to five years from seven and a half at present the maximum period for preventative custody, and limiting court-ordered phone surveillance.