Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (File photo)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (File photo)

Turkey: Court announces life imprisonment in 2016 Coup trial

ANI | Updated: Jun 20, 2019 22:28 IST

Ankara [Turkey], Jun 20 (ANI): A Court here on Thursday awarded life imprisonment to 128 people, including 17 top former military officials, accused of participating in Turkey's failed coup attempt three years ago aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The accused included the former head of the Turkish Air Force, Akin Ozturk, who allegedly headed the "Peace at Home Council", which led the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. He was one of the 17 top former military officials who were given 141 "aggravated" life sentences, Al Jazeera reported.
The verdicts involving 224 suspects took place at a court in Sincan prison in the capital, Ankara.
The accused were on trial, initiated in 2017, on charges of crimes against the state, leading an armed group, attempting to assassinate Erdogan and the deaths of 249 people.
Turkey has time and again blamed United States-based Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen for the attempted coup on July 15, 2016, by a faction of the military.
However, Gulen has denied any role in the failed coup, which left 251 dead and more than 2,000 wounded. Turkey has also failed to secure his extradition.
According to Turkey's Anadolu news agency, the people given life sentences also included Ali Yazici, a former military aide of Erdogan.
Of the defendants, 176 were now under arrest, 35 tried in absentia, and 13 still at large, Anadolu said. The trial of the 13 considered fugitives will continue separately.
In April, Erdogan had said that, in total, 20,226 people have been convicted on charges related to the coup attempt.
He said more than 31,000 people have been sacked from the police, 15,000 from the military, and 4,000 from the judiciary in its aftermath. (ANI)