A court in Turkey has given life sentences to dozens of defendants in one of the biggest trials linked to the 2016 coup attempt.
Air force pilots and army commanders were among the nearly 500 defendants accused of trying to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
They allegedly directed the plot from the Akinci air base near Ankara.
Mr Erdogan says US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen masterminded the plot, which led to mass arrests.
Mr Gulen has denied any involvement in the attempted coup in July 2016 that killed 251 people and injured more than 2,000. Mr Erdogan was on vacation at the time at a resort.
Turkey court gives life sentences to dozens of defendants in one of the biggest trials linked to the 2016 coup attempt https://t.co/sYuRPCLTxK— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 26, 2020
Thousands of civilians rallied in support of Mr Erdogan in a night of turmoil, confronting rogue soldiers and preventing the plotters from seizing power.
The trial began in August 2017, and the charges include attempting to kill President Erdogan and to seize key state institutions.
Officers who conspired against Mr Erdogan seized aircraft at the Akinci base, taking then chief of staff Gen Hulusi Akar and some other officers hostage.
The indictment states that 25 pilots in F-16s bombed targets in Ankara, including parliament, which was hit three times, as well as key security buildings. The bombing killed 68 people in Ankara and injured more than 200.
Twenty-five of those in the dock are generals and 10 are civilians. More than 10 of the military officers – including F-16 fighter pilots – and four civilians got 79 life sentences each.
The sentences are still being handed down at Turkey’s biggest court in Sincan near Ankara.
Six were put on trial in absentia, including Mr Gulen and Adil Oksuz, a theology lecturer accused of being a key co-ordinator in the coup plot.
The Hizmet movement led by Mr Gulen has been branded a “terrorist” organisation by Mr Erdogan.
He was once an ally of the president, but since the coup attempt the 79-year-old cleric has remained a fugitive in Pennsylvania and Turkey wants his extradition.
Mr Erdogan carried out a sweeping purge of state institutions after the plot, sacking or suspending more than 100,000 public sector employees, including teachers and judges, who were accused of links to Mr Gulen.
There have been many trials of alleged plotters and courts have issued more than 2,500 life sentences.
- Social media users react to DSP Azugu’s alleged role in assault on Citi FM journalist
- ASEPA calls for the removal of GJA President, Affail Monney
- Don’t reduce our schools to ideological and religious fighting grounds – Akufo-Addo tells religious leaders
- NSMQ 2021: Mfantsipim destroys Adisadel, University Practice and Assin State College to win Central Regional Championship
- Akufo-Addo and his NPP government are reducing Ghana to a police state – Haruna Iddrisu
- We have not failed humanity by building prison infrastructure – Church of Pentecost
- GPL wrap: Kotoko extend gap at top after Olympics surrender lead
- Francis Xavier-Sosu: Eid-ul-Fitr reflections – Human rights and security implications, the case of Wesley Girls’ and the Methodist Church
- Education Minister engages stakeholders of Christian Mission Schools over Wesley Girls’ brouhaha
- Heavy downpour renders Damongo residents homeless
Nigerian army denies Boko Haram Eid donation reports
Caleb Kudah didn’t breach Code of Ethics – GJA General Secretary
2 jailed 26 years over attempted robbery
Dzata Cement denies claims of selling product GH¢30 per bag
Citi FM journalist gained access to National Security premises under false pretence – Chief Director
Council of States donates to inpatients of Bole Hospital
Top scientists question the need for Covid-19 booster shots
Akufo-Addo visits France, Belgium and South Africa as part of post-Covid-19 engagements
Today’s front pages: Friday, May 14, 2021
NSMQ2021: Perfect ‘salah’ gift as Tamale SHS wins maiden Northern Zonal Championship
Coach Paa Kwasi Fabin names 27-man Black Meteors squad to face Japan
Real Madrid win to keep title dream alive
GPL wrap: Kotoko extend gap at top after Olympics surrender lead
Liverpool boost top four hopes with win at Man Utd
Sancho and Haaland score doubles as Dortmund win German Cup