In a detailed verdict released Thursday, The 17th High Criminal Court of Ankara confirmed the Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) role in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
The court said in the verdict that FETÖ hoped that the incumbent government would lose the 2015 elections, so moved to overthrow the government when it won.
"The instruction for the coup was given personally by the terrorist group's head Fetullah Gülen," the court said in its ruling for "umbrella trial" on coup attempt at the army headquarters. Some 127 defendants were handed down aggravated life sentences and 23 others were sentenced to life in the trial that concluded in June.
The detailed verdict delves into crimes of defendants and reasons behind the heavy sentences. It was only partially released when the Daily Sabah went to print.
The verdict says following Gülen's order, FETÖ's "civilian imams" or handlers for the military infiltrators of the group, held talks with infiltrators to plan the coup. "The coup attempt was executed as FETÖ benefited from its organic web and efficiency across the country. There is no doubt that the coup is the work of Peace At Home Council, which is a junta composed by FETÖ," the verdict added.
The terrorist group is known for its widespread infiltration of the army, law enforcement, the judiciary and bureaucracy. 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. However, FETÖ's leader Fetullah Gülen and 12 others, mostly civilian members of the terrorist group, remain at large.