Hundreds to face judges in Turkey's biggest coup trial

Jerome Frank
August 2, 2017

A key trial started in Turkey on Tuesday, with 486 suspects facing a range of serious charges related to the failed coup attempt past year.

They are charged with crimes ranging from murder, violating the constitution and attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Numerous 486 suspects face life terms in prison for crimes that include murder and attempt to assassinate Erdogan.

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

Among the defendants on trial are two fugitives: Fetullah Gulen, seen as the main coup-plotter, who has lived in us state of Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile since 1999, and is being sought for extradition, along with Adil Oksuz, another alleged major coup perpetrator. Gulen is being tried in absentia, and denies any role in the coup attempt.

Among those on trial is Akin Ozturk, a former general in the air force who is accused of being a key ringleader in the abortive putsch, which left more than 250 people dead in July 2016.

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Military chief Gen Hulusi Akar and other senior officers were held hostage at the base for several hours on the night that the coup took place.

Of the 486 facing charges now, 461 are currently imprisoned, 18 have been released with judicial supervision, and seven are on the run, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The Turkish parliament was bombed three times by F-16s.

"It is very important for our country to entirely shed light on the events of the 15th treason (coup attempt), this is why we are asking Washington to deliver us this individual", a source close to the government explained to Xinhua, regretting that until now very little help has been provided from the United States.

Businessman Kemal Batmaz, meanwhile, is accused of assisting Oksuz. Some 30 coup plotters were also killed.

Around 300 people were killed during the coup attempt, which also led to purges targeting tens of thousands of civil servants among other people.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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