The Supreme Court of Appeals on Thursday approved aggravated life imprisonment and life imprisonment sentences for 28 Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) members for their roles in the takeover of telecom provider Türk Telekom during the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
The former soldiers were sentenced by an Ankara court in 2018 for forcibly taking control of Türk Telekom's Istanbul headquarters during the coup attempt and threatened employees inside.
Türk Telekom maintains the country's internet infrastructure, and coup plotters were planning to cut off communications. At 10:17 p.m. on July 15, 2016, a busload of pro-coup troops stormed the building and disarmed the security guards.
Eyewitnesses have told investigators that the soldiers threatened to "shoot" any people leaving the building. Some personnel were later allowed to leave, while a group of employees was held hostage for hours.
Ultimately, the pro-coup soldiers failed at their mission, and they were detained after special operations police accompanied by anti-coup civilians surrounded the building.
FETÖ is accused of orchestrating multiple coup attempts in Turkey, and its members face terrorism charges. According to prosecutors, the group used its infiltrators in the military to run the coup attempt, overseen by its nonmilitary point men.