An Ankara court has ordered the release of two defendants, out of 224, in a trial over the attempted takeover of the Turkish military headquarters during the July 15, 2016, coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
The court ordered the continued detention of other defendants and adjourned the hearing until Dec. 10. The freed defendants are former non-commissioned officer Mehmet Adıgüzel and civilian defendant Mustafa Akyıldız.
Prosecutors had asked for an aggravated life sentence for Adıgüzel on coup charges and a prison term of up to 15 years for Akyıldız for the "membership of a terrorist group." Adıgüzel was an aide to a general serving at army headquarters and had claimed he was not at the headquarters at the time of the coup attempt. Mustafa Akyıldız, on the other hand, was accused of being a handler for FETÖ in charge of the terrorist group's infiltrators in the army. A defendant in the case who initially identified Akyıldız as his handler later withdrew his testimony.
Prosecutors have called for multiple aggravated life sentences for defendants including generals in earlier hearings. They recommended 252 aggravated life sentences to 37 alleged members of the so-called "Peace at Home Council," the military junta linked to FETÖ.