33 sentenced to life for FETÖ's 2016 coup attempt

Published 10.07.2019 14:53
Updated 10.07.2019 15:58

A Turkish court on Wednesday gave eight suspects aggravated life sentences and 25 others life in prison for their actions at a military school during the 2016 defeated coup carried out by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

The hearing was attended by the 53 defendants and their lawyers at the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court.

Isa Sancaklı, Fatih Çubukçu, Özkan Gürkol, Semih İlhan, Abdülkadir Çiçek, Enes Daşçı, Resul Doğan and Yavuz Ali Üçler were given aggravated life sentences on the charges of violating the constitutional order in the coup attempt at the Etimesgut Armed Forces School in Ankara, Turkey's capital.

Former Brig. Gen. Ahmet Bican Kırker, who had been previously sentenced to aggravated life in prison for violating the constitution, was sentenced to another life sentence for "deliberate killing" and 16 years for injuring a Turkish citizen, Nejmettin Utuş.

Other defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 15 years on lesser charges for their involvement in the coup attempt.

Col. Sefa Alkan, the school's commander at the time, was acquitted of all charges.

Former Col. Süleyman Karaca, accused of the coup attempt at the Gendarmerie General Command, was acquitted of the charges of "obstruction of the exercise of political rights," "deliberate killing" and "attempting to deliberately kill."

Meanwhile, Turkish prosecutors, yesterday issued arrest warrants for 28 active-duty military personnel for their alleged links to FETÖ, according to judicial sources.

The suspects are being sought as part of a probe into FETÖ infiltration of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Earlier Tuesday, over 200 soldiers in Istanbul and the Aegean İzmir province were arrested for their alleged ties to the terror group.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred 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.

It first attempted to overthrow the government in 2013 with its infiltrators in the judiciary and the Turkish National Police. It failed, and the group faced increased scrutiny. When news broke that the military was preparing to launch a mass purge of FETÖ-linked officers in August 2016, the group moved to prevent it with the coup attempt. Strong public resistance ultimately stopped the coup, and most of those involved in the coup attempt were arrested.

The latest figures show that since Turkey lifted a state of emergency imposed after the coup attempt last year, some 2,049 military personnel were dismissed from the army for their links to the coup attempt and FETÖ while 176 retired soldiers were stripped of their ranks.

A total of 263 trials out of 289 over the 2016 coup attempt have concluded since the first coup trials started in late 2016. The remaining trials are expected to wrap up by the end of this year.

Figures compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA) show more than 3,200 defendants were convicted and jailed.

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