Accused coup plotters stand trial in Ankara

01 August, 2017, 22:43 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Turkish Police Detained Almost 600 People Last Week Over Suspected Links to FETO

Defendants will appear in a purpose-built courtroom outside the capital Ankara, facing charges from attempting to assassinate the president to murder.

The suspects, who are to stand trial on Tuesday, are accused of conspiring to overthrow the government from an airbase seen as the plotters' hub. As some arrived at court they were met by protesters chanting "We want the death penalty!"

Two weeks ago, more than 7,563 people including police, civil servants and academics were dismissed in Turkey after the government issued a new decree under the ongoing state of emergency imposed after last year's failed coup. Seven defendants are still on the run, while another 18 have been charged but not in jail. Gulen denies any involvement, Reuters reported.

The key suspect is Fethullah Gulen, a USA -based preacher, who is accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating the failed military coup.

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On July 15, 2016, coup plotters blocked roads and bombed state institutions before the attempted takeover was thwarted with the help of citizens resisting putschist soldiers on the streets.

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.

Erdogan's government says the purge is needed to address Turkey's security challenges and to root out what it says is a deeply embedded network of Gulen supporters - who were once Erdogan's allies until they fell out in 2013.

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