Trial Begins For The 500 Suspects In Turkey's Coup Attempt

02 August, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Turkish Police Detained Almost 600 People Last Week Over Suspected Links to FETO

An Ankara court on Tuesday began the trial of 486 key suspects accused of taking part in last year's coup attempt, which martyred 250 people.

The largest coup trial, which concerns prominent figures of the coup that shocked Turkey on July 15, 2016, started at an exclusively-built courtroom in the suburban Sincan neighborhood.

Gulen has denied any involvement in the coup attempt, and Turkish prosecutors have not presented any evidence suggesting Gulen gave a direct order to initiative a government overthrow.

US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government accuses of orchestrating the coup, has been named as the main defendant in the case and will be tried in absentia.

They are accused of running the coup bid from the Akinci airbase northwest of the capital, which the authorities regard as plotters' headquarters. Some 30 coup plotters were also killed.


Numerous 486 suspects face 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. They were handcuffed, with two paramilitary police officers on each arm, and protected by armed special force officers. Turkey's military chief Hulusi Akar and other commanders were held captive for several hours at the base on the night of the coup. Others threw stones or tried to break through police lines to reach the suspects, shouting "murderers". As some arrived at court they were met by protesters chanting "We want the death penalty!"

A total of 461 suspects are held in custody, while seven are still on the run.

Although Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed a referendum on the issue in his speech after narrowly winning a vote to expand his powers in April.

With Gulen under self-imposed exile in the USA and Ozturk on the run, both men will be tried in absentia.

Established in 1960 in a distant suburb of Ankara, the Akinci Air Base was closed down after the coup and changed its name to Murted Base Command.

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