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ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the era of military coups in the country is over and that Turkey is a model for other Muslim countries to follow.

Mr. Erdogan was addressing a major congress of his ruling party, which is marking a decade of electoral success, a strong record of economic growth and a rising regional stature.

The ruling Justice and Development Party, which came to power in 2002, has maintained Turkey’s secular system but has also has curtailed the power of the military, which has staged three coups since the 1960s and forced an Islamic government out of office in 1997.

Earlier this month, a court sentenced more than 300 military officers to long prison terms for attempting to topple the government in 2003.

“The era of coups in this country will never return again,” Mr. Erdogan told thousands of delegates attending the congress at a sports arena. “Anyone who intervenes or tries to intervene in democracy will sooner or later go in front of the people’s courts and be made to account.”


Muslims trash Buddhist temples over insult

CHITTAGONG — Thousands of rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in southeastern Bangladesh on Sunday over a photo posted on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam, in a rare attack against the Buddhist community.

Officials said the mob comprising some 25,000 people set fire to at least five temples and dozens of homes in Ramu town and its adjoining villages, more than 200 miles from the capital, Dhaka.

The rioters claimed the photo allegedly defaming the Koran was uploaded on Facebook by a young Buddhist man from the area, district administrator Joinul Bari said.

Police officer Rumia Khatun said that about “25,000 Muslims chanting ‘God is Great’” first attacked a Buddhist hamlet in Ramu, torching centuries-old temples, and later stormed Buddhist villages outside the town.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties, and authorities did not say if any of the rioters were arrested.

Witnesses described rioters leaving a trail of devastation at the Buddhist villages.


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