June's FETÖ trials see 1,626 defendants back in court

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 10.06.2019 00:17

After a short pause for the holiday break, Turkish courts are resuming the trials of 1,626 defendants linked to Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). New hearings will be held in 26 trials in nine cities on FETÖ and its 2016 coup attempt. Nine trials are about July 15, 2016 coup attempt by FETÖ's military infiltrators while the rest are related to other crimes the group was involved in. A total of 1,002 defendants will be tried in hearings related to the putsch bid that killed 251 people and injured hundreds of others resisting the coup.

In the capital Ankara, pro-FETÖ soldiers stationed at the General Command of Gendarme will appear today before the 19th High Criminal Court for their actions during the coup attempt. Some 77 other defendants will be tried for the takeover of Atatürk Airport during the attempt and the killing of two people in Istanbul.

In tomorrow's hearings, defendants involved in the takeover of the Land Forces Military School in Ankara will be back in the dock. Ankara will also host the new hearing of takeover of the Turkish Army's headquarters, the Office of the Chief of General Staff, during the putsch bid. A total of 224 defendants are being tried in that trial, scheduled to resume on June 20.

Another trial to resume in Istanbul is about the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. A total of 85 defendants, including FETÖ-linked public officials and police chiefs are being tried for their cover-up of the 2007 murder. On June 14, nine defendants including the owner and staff of Sözcü newspaper will be back on the stand over allegations of links to the terrorist group.

On June 18, some 85 defendants are also scheduled to attend the new hearing in the Kaynak Holding trial. The business conglomerate was one of the main financiers of FETÖ according to prosecutors. Trustees were appointed to the company after it faced allegations over FETÖ links.

In the northwestern city of Tekirdağ, Mehmet Kanter, father of NBA player Enes Kanter, will appear before a court for his links to the terrorist group. Enes Kanter also faces accusations of FETÖ membership and Turkey is seeking his extradition from the United States.

The last hearing for the month will be of Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. Serving as a liaison officer at the U.S. consulate, Topuz was arrested in 2017 over his links to FETÖ and faces charges of espionage.

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