April 07, 2021 – 15:53
A court in Ankara on Wednesday sentenced 38 former senior military officials to life in prison in a trial for failed coup attempts in 2016.
Six of the defendants were sentenced to life in prison for “violation of the constitution”, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Life sentences are the harshest sentences in Turkey since the abolition of the death penalty in 2002.
There is no possibility of parole for this type of sentence.
The court has sentenced 106 other defendants to more than 16 years in prison for violating the constitution, Anadolu reported.
Other charges include attempted assassination of the president.
A total of 121 people have been acquitted of all charges.
The trial against 497 defendants, including former Presidential Guard officials, has been ongoing since October 2017.
Prosecutors have charged the suspects with occupying the state broadcaster TRT in Ankara on the night of July 15, 2016, and forcing the presenter to read coup statements.
Ankara blames US-based religious cleric Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating failed coup attempts, and has declared his movement a terrorist group.
The cleric, once a friend and now critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denies the allegations.
Among the 289 lawsuits pending in connection with the coup attempt, 14 are pending, according to Anadolu. / rel