Turkey court sen­tences 121 to life in coup trial

Iran Daily - - Internatio­nal -

A Turk­ish court on Fri­day handed down life sen­tences to 121 peo­ple for tak­ing part in the 2016 at­tempted over­throw of Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, state me­dia re­ported.

The court in Ankara sen­tenced 86 sus­pects to “ag­gra­vated” life im­pris­on­ment for “at­tempt­ing to vi­o­late the Con­sti­tu­tion” while 35 in­di­vid­u­als were given life sen­tences for the same crime, the of­fi­cial Anadolu Agency said, AFP re­ported.

An ag­gra­vated life sen­tence has tougher terms of de­ten­tion. It was brought in to re­place the death penalty which Turkey abol­ished in 2004 as part of its drive to join the EU.

A to­tal of 245 sus­pects were on trial in the case re­lated to events at the Gen­darmerie Gen­eral Com­mand on the night of July 15, 2016 in the Turk­ish cap­i­tal.

An­other sus­pect, for­mer colonel Erkan Ok­tem, was given nine ag­gra­vated life sen­tences for “will­ful mur­der”, Anadolu Agency re­ported.

The failed coup left 248 peo­ple dead, ex­clud­ing 24 putschists killed that night.

Turk­ish Jus­tice Min­is­ter Ab­dul­hamit Gul last week said 15 coup-re­lated tri­als con­tin­ued out of a to­tal of 289 in what is the big­gest le­gal process in Turkey’s mod­ern his­tory.

Af­ter a three-month break be­cause of the novel coro­n­avirus pan­demic, tri­als in Turkey re­sumed this month in­clud­ing the main coup trial fo­cused on events at an air­base in Ankara seen as the putschists’ hub.

That trial be­gan in 2017 and is ex­pected to be com­pleted soon.

Turkey says the Us-based op­po­si­tion cleric Fethul­lah Gulen or­dered the failed coup, a claim he strongly de­nies.

EPA

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