A court in eastern Turkey handed down life sentences late Monday for a general and four other officers for their role in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt blamed on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Former Brig. Gen. Murat Yetgin would have been appointed as senior staff officer of the Land Forces Command if the coup attempt that killed 249 people had succeeded, according to investigations. Yetgin and Gürhan Yener, a lieutenant colonel, were sentenced to aggravated life sentences for their involvement in the coup attempt in the eastern province of Kars where they were deployed. Yetgin was head of a commando brigade stationed in the province. A colonel and two lieutenant colonels who acted in cooperation with Yetgin were handed life sentences in the same trial in which 26 defendants were tried. Seventeen others were acquitted while the court gave lenient prison terms to four other officers.
Yetgin and others denied their involvement in the coup attempt. Prosecutors said soldiers from the Ninth Commando Brigade under Yetgin's command descended into central Sarıkamış, a town located near the military base where they were deployed, on July 15, capturing public buildings as well as local National Police stations. Soldiers then told a crowd gathered in the town square upon hearing a coup attempt that martial law had been declared and there was a curfew. The brigadier general's name was on a list of commanders who were to take up appointments made by the putschist Peace At Home Council had the coup attempt succeeded.
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