Sixty-two soldiers go on trial over the July coup attempt in Turkey

The 28 officers and 34 servicemen allegedly seized control of Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport on July 15, the night of the attempted putsch last year.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Turkish citizens confront soldiers taking part in the attempted coup on July 15, 2016.

The trial of 62 Turkish army officers and soldiers began in Istanbul on Monday for their alleged role in last year’s attempted military coup.

The 28 officers and 34 servicemen allegedly seized control of Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the night of the attempted putsch on July 15.

They face charges of committing crimes against the state and could face life terms in prison if convicted.

Some of the defendants have denied the charges, insisting they were led to believe they were taking part in a military drill.

Monday's trial is the first in Istanbul for military officers. Twenty-nine policemen are already on trial for allegedly failing to protect the president.

The trials follow an attempt by a faction within the Turkish military to oust the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power on the night of July 15, 2016.

The coup collapsed early in the morning on July 16 in face of massive popular opposition.

Turkey accuses US-based Fethullah Gulen and his organisation FETO of orchestrating the failed coup in which more than 240 people were killed and over 2,200 wounded.

Turkey considers FETO a terrorist organisation and is demanding the extradition of its leader.

 

Source: 
TRTWorld