Five suspected members of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind Turkey's 2016 defeated coup, on Thursday received aggravated life sentences for their actions in occupying Istanbul's Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) on the night of the coup bid.
Istanbul's 25th High Criminal Court sentenced the five former soldiers, including Staff Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kubilay, Lt. Ramazan Derviş, Lt. Hakan Özhan and Levent Aksoy and Mehmet Fatih Güven to aggravated life sentences for violating the Constitution.
Lt. Col. Mustafa Kubilay had fired on unarmed civilians outside AKOM on the night of the coup attempt.
The former soldiers were also sentenced to 41 years behind bars for harming property and causing intentional injury.
AKOM, which houses thousands of security cameras across the city, was a critical location for coup troops who also tried to seize the headquarters of telecom companies, TV stations and other places across Istanbul. The court noted that the suspects attempted to obstruct the passage of information and footage to the National Intelligence Organization (MIT)
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.