From the BBC: Some 40 people, including several top military figures, have been arrested in Turkey over an alleged coup plot dating back to 2003, Turkish media report.

The former heads of the air force and navy were among those detained in raids in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

The so-called ‘sledgehammer’ plot allegedly involved planting bombs in mosques to destabilise the government.

The head of the army has dismissed the allegations, insisting coups in Turkey are a thing of the past.

The army has overthrown or forced the resignation of four governments since 1960 – the last time in 1997.

The men arrested include the former air force chief Ibrahim Firtina, former navy chief Ozden Ornek, and several other generals and colonels, both serving and retired, Turkish media outlets reported. (photo:  AFP)