A Turkish court has taken stringent action against those found guilty of involvement in an unsuccessful coup attempt in 2016. The court sentenced several military officers and civilians to life imprisonment at an airport on Thursday. This information was given by the Government Dialogue Committee.
Akinsi Airport, on the outskirts of the capital Ankara, has been on trial for the past three years with 475 people, including generals and pilots of fighter jets. They are all accused of coup and ordering bombing of important government buildings including a part of Parliament House.
This major lawsuit also includes two major lawsuits against suspected members of a network led by Maulana Fatullah Gulen of the US. Ankara alleges that Gülen conspired in a failed attempt. While Gülen denies involvement in the coup. Significantly, about 220 people died and thousands were injured due to the coup attempt. Around 30 conspirators were also killed in the coup.
The Anadolu Dialogue Committee reported that the court sentenced the four men in the case of crimes against the country, attempted murder of the President and murder and sentenced them to 79 life sentences separately. Anadolu said at least 21 defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, including pilots and commanders. The punishment of the other defendants has not yet been pronounced. The court said that Gulen and four other defendants would be tried separately for the charges.
Prosecutors alleged that the coup plotters used Akinci Airport as their headquarters. On the night of the coup, the then Turkish army chief General Hulisi Akar and other commanders were held hostage at the airport for several hours. Hulisi is currently the country’s defense minister.
The trial began on August 1, 2017 as part of the post-coup action, under which around 77,000 people were imprisoned and one lakh 30 thousand people were fired from government jobs.