Turkey Sentences 121, Including Ex-soldiers, To Life Over Failed Coup

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A court in the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday handed life sentences to 121 people over their alleged involvement in a failed coup by a faction in the military in 2016, state news agency Anadolu reported.


“The court sentenced 86 to aggravated life imprisonment for “attempting to violate the constitution” while 35 were handed life sentences for the same charge.

“All are accused of involvement in the coup attempt at the gendarmerie command in Ankara,’’ Anadolu reported.

It added that of the 121, one former colonel was handed nine times aggravated life imprisonment over deliberate murder.

“The colonel is accused of ordering the execution of the head of the anti-terror police unit and his bodyguard hours after the failed coup.

“The bodyguard died while the police chief survived with severe injuries.

Report says aggravated life sentence means tougher jail conditions.

Turkey blames United States-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen for the attempted coup on July 15, 2016 and has jailed thousands over alleged links to the cleric.

“A total of 1,934 people were sentenced to life over coup links by Turkish courts as of December,’’ Anadolu reported.

Gulen, once an ally of President Recep Erdogan, denies any role in the failed attempt, which left 251 dead and over 2,000 injured.

Turkish authorities have in recent weeks intensified raids across the country on suspected Gulen supporters, also in the military.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said earlier this month that the armed forces had purged almost 20,000 personnel since the abortive putsch.

“More than 4,000 are undergoing inspections, he added.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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