The first hearing in the trial of 62 former military personnel who are accused of taking over Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side of Istanbul during the failed July 15 coup attempt orchestrated by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) commenced yesterday in Silivri, Istanbul.
The gendarmerie took tight security measures around the court where the hearing would be held, starting from 7 a.m. The vehicles and individuals arriving to the complex were searched thoroughly at the checkpoints. As part of the security measures, the identity cards of everybody who came to the court were also check by the gendarmerie. Entry to the courthouse for the attorneys and relatives of the accused opened at 9 a.m.
The trial was monitored by a great number of local and international journalists. Ambulances also waited outside the court in case of an emergency.
The defendants from different ranks of the armed forces, include 28 arrested for the putsch attempt. They are charged with "attempting to overthrow constitutional order and replace it with another order by force," "attempt to remove Parliament or to disrupt its conduct by force" and "attempt to overthrow the government or to disrupt it by force." The charges, usually brought against terror suspects and those involved in coups, can carry lifetime imprisonment in solitary confinement.
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