Nearly 500 on trial over Turkey's failed coup

Trevor Jackson
August 2, 2017

Almost 500 people appeared in court yesterday in the biggest trial yet of suspects from Turkey's failed coup, facing charges of conspiring to oust the government from an air base seen as the plotters' hub.

If convicted, numerous 486 suspects risk life terms in prison for crimes that include violating the constitution, attempted assassination of the president, trying to abolish the republic and seizing military headquarters.

Considered the plotters' headquarters, the airbase was reportedly used to coordinate the coup and direct the bombing of key government buildings, reports the Washington Post.

In a statement, the ministry said 831 of those were detained for suspected ties to the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating an attempted coup in July. He rejects the charges and denies any involvement in the coup attempt.

Ozturk, the former air force commander, is also on trial in a separate case, accused of being a ring-leader of the coup.

Thus far, Turkish authorities have stripped 342 retired army personnel of their ranks and in all, authorities have sacked or suspended more than 150,000 officials, and arrested some 50,000 people from the military, police, judiciary, academia and other sectors.

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A total of 461 suspects jailed pending trial were brought to the courthouse, handcuffed and each flanked by two gendarme officers.

"It is very important for our country to entirely shed light on the events of the 15th treason (coup attempt), this is why we are asking Washington to deliver us this individual", a source close to the government explained to Xinhua, regretting that until now very little help has been provided from the United States.

Other civilians such as Kenal Batmaz, Harun Binis and Hakan Cicek are also accused of being the pillars of the coup operation at the air base as they were thought to have issued instructions to generals that night.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Akar, the military chief, submitted petitions requesting to be named as plaintiffs in the case, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The trial is the largest yet relating to the coup.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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