Turkish court condemns a number of coup plotters | Free press


In the summer of 2016, parts of the military had staged a coup d’état against the government of Turkish President Erdogan. Now the verdicts have been made in a gigantic trial against nearly 500 suspects.

Istanbul (AP) – Nearly five years after the coup attempt in Turkey, a Turkish court has ruled the trial of some 500 defendants.

38 defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, including for violations of constitutional order; Anadolu state agency reported Wednesday.

106 others were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 to over 16 years – for example, for membership in terrorism. A total of 497 people were charged in the mammoth trial, which lasted almost 250 days.

On the evening of July 15, 2016, sections of the military had staged a coup d’état against the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In Istanbul and the capital Ankara, there were clashes between putschists and security forces loyal to the state. The putschists used tanks and fighter jets, including firing at civilians who opposed them, after an appeal from Erdogan. More than 250 people died and 2,000 were injured. The rebellion was eventually crushed.

The now convicted broke into the state broadcaster TRT in Ankara and forced the moderator to read a statement about the planned coup. Among those sentenced to life imprisonment were the ex-officer who allegedly ordered the occupation and the ex-lieutenant who allegedly ordered the reading. Two of them are also said to have planned an assassination attempt on Erdogan. Another former regimental commander was sentenced to more than 61 years. The court did not impose a sentence on 231 suspects and 121 were acquitted.

The Turkish leadership blames US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen and his supporters for the coup attempt. The Gülen movement is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey. Since the coup attempt, tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey and more than 100,000 civil servants have been fired. According to official information, about 21,000 employees of the armed forces were fired from the service.

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