Nearly three years after the failed coup in Turkey, a court has sentenced 17 former top military personnel to life imprisonment. Among them was the ex-commander of the Turkish Air Force, Akin Öztürk, reported the state news agency Anadolu today.
Each of the defendants received life imprisonment 141 times. Among other things, the judiciary alleged, according to Anadolu, that they had tried to overthrow the government. Furthermore, they were charged with the death of 251 people in the course of the coup attempt.
Over 250 dead and more than 2,000 injured
The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is responsible for the foiled coup of July 15, 2016, the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. Öztürk was the second prime suspect after him. He is alleged to have been in charge of a body that should have coordinated the soldiers involved that night. Gülen himself has rejected any role in the coup attempt. Apart from 251 dead, there were more than 2,000 injured in the official figures.
The trial began in 2017 in Ankara’s Sincan Prison and was one of the largest in the coup attempt with 224 defendants. Since then, the Turkish government is against the Gülen movement, but also against opposition. Tens of thousands of people were dismissed from the civil service. According to Erdogan, there are currently more than 30,000 alleged Gülen followers in Turkish prisons.