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Turkey sentences dozens to life terms over 2016 failed coup

A Turkish court sentences dozens of people, including former soldiers attached to the presidential guard regiment, to life imprisonment over their involvement in the 2016 failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, the state-run Anadolu Agency reports

A total of 497 defendants had been on trial since 2017 for attempting to seize the military headquarters in Ankara, occupying the headquarters of the state broadcaster TRT, and of forcing a television broadcaster to read out a statement on behalf of the coup-plotters.

The massive trial is one of hundreds of trials against suspected members of a network led by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the failed attempt. Gulen, a former Erdogan ally, denies the accusation.

Among those sentenced to the aggravated life term is a former lieutenant colonel who forced the anchorwoman to read the statement, a former colonel accused of giving the order for the takeover of the TRT building and a former major who led a team that attempted to take over the military headquarters, the agency says.

Riot police officers enter courthouse before the trial of 497 defendants, in Sincan, outside the capital Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 7, 2021 (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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