A verdict last week for generals behind the Feb. 28, 1997 coup was hailed by victims but seen as lenient, as well. Lawyers for some victims called for the arrests of convicted putschists who were released to judicial control due to their advanced age.
An Ankara court on Friday concluded the case of 103 people accused of organizing the coup in a landmark verdict that saw former generals sentenced to life.
Former Chief of General Staff Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı and 20 others, mostly his deputies in the military, were sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the coup that derailed the lives of millions targeted by the secular elite. However, the court did not send them to prison, citing their old age, although the defendants were ordered to report to nearby police stations regularly and were banned from traveling abroad under judicial control laws.
Some 1,500 coup victims are prepared to file complaints and call for new sentences for defendants, the Sabah newspaper reported.
The case's prosecutor Mehmet Hanifi Yıldırım, meanwhile, will reportedly issue a formal objection for the release of the 69 other defendants acquitted in Friday's hearing.
Under the law, the verdict can be rendered void by an intermediary court, and even if that court approves, the verdict can still be overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals, the ultimate judiciary authority.
The coup stands out in the Republic's history and is called the post-modern coup by many, as it did not involve any outright physical action. Instead, the secular elite, led by the powerful military, used psychological warfare in its campaign against the government and anyone deemed reactionary. An ultimatum to the government on Feb. 28, 1997 led to its subsequent resignation and further boosted a crackdown that disrupted the lives of people forced to drop out of school, dismissed from their jobs or jailed on trumped-up charges.