The trial for 14 defendants accused of running the Istanbul leg of the 2016 coup attempt blamed on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) concluded yesterday with aggravated life sentences for 12 people.
The defendants, including former Generals Fethi Alpay, Eyyüp Gürler and Özkan Aydoğdu, are accused of organizing the coup attempt in Turkey's most populated city and having direct responsibility in deaths of 87 people in the city on July 15, 2016. Some among them are members of the Peace at Home Council, which orchestrated the nationwide attempt to seize power.
The coup attempt, which killed 249 people across Turkey, was perpetrated by infiltrators of FETÖ in the military, according to prosecutors who consider the group's leader Fetullah Gülen the prime suspect. Through his lieutenants in Turkey, Gülen devised the plan to topple the government, indictments against the terrorist group say.
In another trial yesterday in the southern city of Gaziantep, 14 soldiers involved in the coup attempt were sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. The defendants were deployed at a military base for the army's elite Special Forces unit in Silopi, a southeastern town. The commander of the military base was Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi, a putschist who sought to assume command of the headquarters of Special Forces in Ankara. Terzi was shot dead by Special Forces Sgt. Ömer Halisdemir who is hailed as a hero posthumously for stopping the attempt that foiled coup plotters' plans. Halisdemir was killed by Terzi's soldiers. The defendants in the Gaziantep trial were accused of taking over the base as well as seeking to send troops to Ankara to help putschists capture the capital.