The military--self-declared guardians of Turkey's secular system--pressured an Islamic government out of power in 1997 and considers radical Islam a major threat.
Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and other generals met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Monday to talk about security matters. NTV television said the generals asked the government not to try to change laws barring women civil servants and students from wearing headscarves in public offices and campuses. Many believe the headscarves show support for political Islam.
The television report also said the military asked Gul to pass laws that would allow authorities to sack civil servants for suspected anti-secular activities. The generals also asked the government to curb financial organizations suspected of supporting radical Islamic activities, the station said.
Neither the government nor the military commented on the TV report.
Gul assumed power last month after his Justice and Development party won elections. The party denies it seeks a pro-Islamic agenda and is keen to avoid any struggle with the military.
Justice, founded last year by members of a pro-Islamic party closed by the courts, has distanced itself from its religious past and calls itself a conservative, democratic party.