Turkish Dictatorship Sentences Hundreds Involved in 2016 Coup to Life in Prison

A Turkish court announced that it has sentenced hundreds of defendants comprising mostly of military personnel to multiple life terms for their involvement in the failed 2016 coup against Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A Turkish court announced that it has sentenced hundreds of defendants comprising mostly of military personnel to multiple life terms for their involvement in the failed 2016 coup against Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Among those were 337 former air force officers and civilians who gathered in the Akinci airbase outside Ankara, on the night of the coup and ordered warplanes, helicopters, and army units to attack and seize key targets.

However, the coup was unsuccessful after civilians blocked the streets and units loyal to the government managed to regain control.

A total of 251 people died and more than 2,000 were injured during the coup, most of them police officers and civilians. 

Erdogan blamed the supporters of the United States-based Muslim preacher and businessman, Fethullah Gulen for the deaths and orchestrating the coup attempt.

Court documents from the trial showed that 337 defendants were handed life sentences for murder, violating the constitutional order, and attempting to assassinate Erdogan.

Aside from the life sentences, 60 suspects were given jail sentences of various lengths while 75 were acquitted.

At least 25 F-16 pilots along with four ringleaders, dubbed “civilian imams” over ties to Gulen’s network were given aggravated life sentences, the gravest in Turkish courts, and has no possibility of parole

Former air force commander Akin Ozturk was charged with planning the bombing of government buildings, including Parliament, and attempting to kill Erdogan.


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