- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Army chief reports on plot

ANKARA | Turkey’s army chief unexpectedly met the prime minister Tuesday, officials said, as tension rose between the military and the ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, or AKP, over a suspected plot to destabilize the government.

On Monday, the government said it would take legal action after the liberal newspaper Taraf reported the military had drawn up a secret plan to stop the AKP and an influential religious movement from “destroying Turkey’s secular order and replacing it by an Islamist state.”

The military, whose generals have long been at odds with the AKP over the country’s direction, has been put on the defensive over the report, which said the movement of Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen was also targeted.

A senior navy officer was accused of crafting the plan in April and military prosecutors have been asked to investigate.

Taraf said the purported plot included plans to discredit the AKP, stir up divisions in the party and plant weapons and ammunition in houses used by Mr. Gulen’s associates to suggest the group was involved in militant activities.


Carter says Gazans treated inhumanely

GAZA CITY | Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are being “treated more like animals than human beings,” former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday.

On a visit to the enclave, he condemned Israel’s January bombardment of Gaza and its continuing trade blockade, which he said forbids even children’s toys.

Mr. Carter, 84, has ignored a U.S. government ban on dealings with Gaza’s Islamist ruler Hamas and had talks with its leaders.

Israel tightened a blockade on Gaza in 2007 when Hamas took control after routing rival Fatah forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.


Abductors kill 3 foreign hostages

SAN’A | Yemen offered a reward of $25,000 Tuesday for information leading to the capture of kidnappers said to have fatally shot three foreign hostages.

Three women from a party of nine kidnapped foreigners were found dead in northern Yemen this week, in a rare killing that coincided with a rise in separatist and militant tensions in a country whose instability has alarmed Western countries and Saudi Arabia.

One analyst said the killings bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda, but no claim of responsibility has been made.

The state news agency, Saba, said Monday the three were part of a group of nine - seven Germans, a Briton and a Korean - that included three children and their mother, who were kidnapped last week in the mountainous Saada region bordering Saudi Arabia.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the killings, and said that two of the three foreigners killed were believed to be German women. They were students at a German Bible school who were gaining work experience at a hospital in Saada, the school said on its Web site.


Holocaust jewelry donated to memorial

JERUSALEM | As a slave laborer in Auschwitz, Meyer Hack was forced to sort through the tattered clothing stripped off inmates before they were sent to the gas chambers. He gathered valuable belongings hidden inside the clothes, stuffed them in a sock, hid them and later spirited them to freedom.

On Monday, the 95-year-old survivor from Boston donated eight pieces of gold, silver and diamond-studded jewelry to Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, as a tribute to the original owners, who perished.

Dressed in a white suit with a pink tie and collar, Mr. Hack recalled his journey with the jewelry, from Auschwitz to other death camps and ultimately to freedom in the United States, recalling the harrowing sights he witnessed along the way.

Mr. Hack was born in Ciechanow, Poland, in 1914. In 1942, along with many other Jews, he was deported to Auschwitz with his mother, brother and two sisters.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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