ANKARA (AFP) - Turkeys army chief and civilian leadership pledged to resolve tensions over an alleged 2003 coup plot following crisis talks Thursday as prosecutors grilled top military figures. With 20 people now remanded in custody on charges of involvement in the plot, a statement issued after the talks said the problems will be resolved within the constitutional order. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan limited his comments to it was a very good meeting but analysts said the divide between government and army remained gaping though tensions were likely to ease in the short term. President Abdullah Gul called the meeting with Erdogan and Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug after the army spoke of a serious situation following the arrest Monday of some 50 serving and retired officers over an alleged plan to overthrow the Islamist-rooted government in 2003. The probe marked a new low in ties between government and military, already strained since last year amid allegations that army members made a series of plans to discredit and unseat the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the offshoot of a now-banned movement. Clashes will continue to erupt as long as the army, the self-declared guardian of Turkeys secular system, insists on defining its duty as protecting the republic and its gains, political scientist Dogu Ergil said. AKP supporters say the army, which has unseated four governments and wielded heavy political influence, must be forced to stop meddling in politics. But opponents allege the AKP is trying to disable the army and realise its alleged ambitions under the guise of democratisation. Basbug himself has decried a campaign to smear the military, while repeatedly pledging his commitment to democracy. As Erdogan and Basbug met in Ankara, the ex-chiefs of the navy and the air force, Ozden Ornek and Ibrahim Firtina, and the general staffs former number two, Ergin Saygun, were questioned by prosecutors in Istanbul. The three retired four-star generals can be either released or prosecutors can ask a court to remand them in custody on charges of involvement in the plot. Earlier Thursday, the court ruled that another eight people should be kept in jail pending trial, bringing the number of detained suspects to 20, Anatolia news agency reported. A total of 12 suspects have been released. The purported plot, codenamed Operation Sledgehammer, is said to have been drawn up in 2003 at the Istanbul-based First Army, shortly after the AKP came to power. It is unknown whether the suspects made any move to activate the plan, first reported in January by the Taraf newspaper, which routinely targets the army. The plot allegedly involved plans to bomb mosques and provoke tensions with Greece to force the downing of a Turkish jet, thus discrediting the government and leading to its downfall. Taraf said the plan was discussed at a seminar in March 2003. The army responded the seminar involved the discussion of war-time contingency plans and denied a coup plot. Army members are already among dozens of defendants in a long-running case against a purported secularist network that allegedly planned to foment unrest to provoke a military coup against the AKP. But the probes credibility waned as police began arresting journalists, writers and academics known as AKP critics, sparking accusations that it has degenerated into a campaign to silence the secularist opposition. Turkeys chief prosecutor said last week he was examining whether the government exerts pressure on the judiciary, a move that may in theory result in a bid to seek AKPs closure at the constitutional court. In 2008, the AKP narrowly escaped being banned for violating Turkeys secular system.