Life sentences for the alleged perpetrators of the 2016 coup

Life imprisonment for all. Turkish justice has sentenced 415 people, mostly military, accused of being the executive and organizational arm in Turkey of the attempted coup of July 2016. All, according to the judge, are part of the brotherhood of Fetullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric exiled in the USA and whom Ankara accuses of terrorist for having organized the attempt.

All the condemned, on the night of the coup, were in the Akinci air base, on the outskirts of Ankara, from where according to justice the coup was prepared and executed.

Among the accused, there are also four civiliansthat that night, after the coup failed, they were detained at the military base. All four were imames who belonged to Gülen’s organization, and have been sentenced to 79 life sentences each.

Two others, 411, are military personnel, who actively collaborated in the coup, according to the Turkish justice system, either by taking over other government buildings or shooting at civilians who, at the request of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, they went out to the street to stop the attempt.

On the night of July 15, 2016, 251 people died, mostly near the Ankara Parliament and the Istanbul Bosphorus Bridge, where protesters were riddled with military helicopters. That bridge, the most famous in the city, is now called Bridge of the Martyrs of July 15.

Different convictions

The sentences, although all are life imprisonment, vary according to the degree of the crime committed: a captain who gave the orders to the coup fighters of bomb the turkish parliament, 79 life sentences; a pilot that bombed one police station, 45 convictions; another piloted that killed 15 people attacking the presidential complex, 16 convictions; a brigadista who detained a general commander during the night of the coup, a conviction. And so on up to 415 convicts.

All, moreover, are accused of try to assassinate the turkish president, from try to reverse the constitutional order, deliberate murder and above all, belong to the Fetullah Gülen group, something that, until 2012, was not only not a crime in Turkey, but was seen as something positive and encouraged by the government led by Erdogan.

The Turkish President and Gülen collaborated until 2012 to change the faces of the Turkish civil service system which, until Erdogan came to power in 2002, was very reluctant to have a Islamist politician was in power. Gülen, with a wide network of followers, then began to create a shadow state: through his education centers throughout the country, he trained policemen, soldiers, teachers, civil servants, lawyers, judges, doctors, journalists, politicians and a long etcetera who were integrated into the state but, above all, received orders from the leaders of the Gülen group.

In 2012, Güllen and Erdogan’s group broke up. Four years later, after being persecuted by the authorities, the Coup attempt.



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