Turkey's main satellite provider Türksat has launched a lawsuit against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and its infiltrators in the military for raiding its headquarters during last year's coup attempt. Lawyers for the company are seeking more than TL 7 million ($1.8 million) from 162 suspects, including FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen.
Türksat's headquarters were damaged in airstrikes by fighter jets dispatched by putschists who were involved in the killings of 249 people during the July 15, 2016, attempt. Authorities have accused Gülen and his group of masterminding the insurrection attempt through FETÖ infiltrators in the military.
No date has been scheduled for a trial as of yet, while lawyers asked the court to seize the assets of the suspects, some of whom are already in jail.
Türksat, like other major companies and broadcasters, were raided by putschists during the coup attempt as they tried to cut off communications. A team of 13 soldiers stormed Türksat's headquarters in Ankara and killed two staff members who were trying to stop them. The putschists managed to take some channels off the air but failed to cut off Türksat's connection of national broadcasters when police intervened. As pro-coup troops fled the site, coup plotters sent in fighter jets that dropped four bombs on the satellite provider's main building. Although Türksat headquarters was heavily damaged, the coup plotters ultimately failed to take the channels off the air thanks to the complicated process of terminating satellite broadcasts alongside the public's strong resistance.
Apart from Gülen, who currently resides in Pennsylvania in the United States, Türksat seeks compensation from Akın Öztürk, a former general who is accused of coordinating the coup attempt and members of the so-called "Peace At Home Council," which was mostly made up of former generals and colonels.
Earlier, Parliament and National Police, which both also suffered from airstrikes during the coup attempt, filed for lawsuits for damages.
Since the coup attempt, tens of thousands of suspects have been detained or arrested for their links to FETÖ, and a large number of people have been dismissed from their public sector jobs and are on trial. Meanwhile, trials over the coup attempt are underway across the country, and putschist troops face life imprisonment for their involvement in the coup attempt.
In October, 13 of 17 accused defendants were sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the deadly takeover of Türksat.The sentenced suspects included so-called "civilians." It was discovered that pro-coup troops were aided by non-military suspects linked to FETÖ. In the Türksat case, former employees of FETÖ-linked companies were brought in to shut down the servers of the satellite provider.
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