A court in southeastern Turkey's Diyarbakır has handed down aggravated life sentences to two former generals and a colonel for their involvement in the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
Gens. Atilla Darendeli and Deniz Kartepe, and Col. Bülent Gürdoğan were accused of attempting to overthrow the government in the coup attempt that killed 251 people and injured 2,200. The prosecutors said that the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) orchestrated the attempt with the help of its military infiltrators.
Darendeli and Kartepe were commanders of two key airbases in Diyarbakır at the time of the coup attempt. Gürdoğan, on the other hand, was a subordinate of Darendeli. The Diyarbakır leg of the coup attempt was largely muted, but charges against the three defendants were related to the incidents in Ankara on the same day. The three men are accused of ordering six warplanes to fly to Ankara and aid the putschists there. The planes later landed at Akıncı Air Base, which served as the command center of the putschists.
After the coup attempt was thwarted by some strong public resistance, Turkey has launched trials against hundreds of military officers caught red-handed in the coup bid. The majority of coup trials have concluded with hundreds of officers handed life sentences, but a few, including those with a large number of defendants, are still underway.
FETÖ, known for its widespread infiltration of the military, law enforcement, judiciary and bureaucracy, faced an escalated crackdown following the coup attempt orchestrated by Adil Öksüz, a high-ranking member of FETÖ.
Tens of thousands were detained, arrested or dismissed from their public sector jobs, while the courts ordered the seizure of a large number of companies associated with the terrorist group.