22 get life im­pris­on­ment in new FETÖ coup trial in Is­tan­bul

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

A TO­TAL of 22 mil­i­tary of­fi­cers, con­scripts and cadets were sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment by an Is­tan­bul court yes­ter­day for their role in the failed coup at­tempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on July 15, 2016.

AN IS­TAN­BUL court yes­ter­day sen­tenced eight peo­ple to ag­gra­vated life im­pris­on­ment and 14 oth­ers to life im­pris­on­ment for their role in the July 15, 2016 coup at­tempt blamed on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Sus­pects in­cluded mil­i­tary of­fi­cers, con­scripts and cadets sta­tioned or brought to a mil­i­tary base on Is­tan­bul’s Asian side. They were dis­patched to or com­manded units to Kar­tal Bridge, a busy over­pass and main route in the city, which was taken over by putschists dur­ing the coup at­tempt.

The court ruled for 10 years and six months in prison for four other de­fen­dants for mem­ber­ship in a ter­ror­ist group, while a sep­a­rate trial will be held for 10 other de­fen­dants who were re­leased pend­ing trial ear­lier.

Putschists had to flee when civil­ians find­ing out about the coup at­tempt took to the streets and blocked the way of ar­mored ve­hi­cles com­manded by putschists.

FETÖ has faced a crack­down since the coup at­tempt was thwarted, and thou­sands have been de­tained or ar­rested since July 15, 2016. Yes­ter­day, 37 for­mer mil­i­tary of­fi­cers out of 101 wanted by au­thor­i­ties were de­tained in the lat­est op­er­a­tions against FETÖ. Sus­pects are ac­cused of be­ing se­cret mem­bers of the group. Eleven sus­pects were pi­lots at Akıncı, an air base in the cap­i­tal Ankara where war­planes and gun­ships took off to strike strategic lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Par­lia­ment. Some sus­pects were jailed af­ter they were de­tained in the af­ter­math of the coup at­tempt. In­ves­ti­ga­tors also traced a “se­cret imam” or a civil­ian han­dler for FETÖ’s in­fil­tra­tors in the mil­i­tary to a bri­gadier gen­eral. Bri­gadier Gen­eral Emin Ayık, who was sta­tioned in an air base in east­ern Turkey at the time of the coup at­tempt, was sen­tenced to life in a trial con­cluded last week. In­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that Ayık, who de­nied his ties to the group like other de­fen­dants in the coup trial, was con­tacted at least four times by FETÖ’s “imam.”

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