A total of 461 defendants are behind bars while 18 were freed pending the outcome of the trial
Paramilitary police and members of the special forces escort former Air Force commander Akin Ozturk and other suspects of last year's failed coup, outside the courthouse at the start of a trial, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. Nearly 500 suspects, including a number of generals and military pilots, went on trial in Turkey Tuesday accused of leading last year's failed coup attempt and carrying out attacks from an air base in Ankara. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici), photo: AP/Burhan Ozbilici
01 of August 2017 15:17:33
ANKARA – Turkey put nearly 500 people on trial Tuesday on charges of leading last year's failed coup, parading dozens of the men into a courthouse as protesters threw stones and shouted "Murderers!"The trial is part of a post-coup crackdown that has imprisoned 50,000 people and seen another 110,000 fired from their government jobs. Many of the suspects Tuesday face life in prison for crimes including murder and attempting to overthrow the government.The main defendant in the case is being tried in absentia, U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government blames for the deadly July 15, 2016 coup. Gulen has denied involvement.The other defendants include generals and fighter jet pilots at the Akinci air base, on the outskirts of Ankara, the capital, who are accused of directing the coup and bombing key government buildings, including the parliament.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Akar, the military chief, submitted petitions requesting to be named as plaintiffs in the case, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.A total of 461 defendants are behind bars while 18 were freed pending the outcome of the trial. Seven others, including Gulen and an alleged top operative in his movement, are still wanted by the Turkish authorities and are being tried in absentia.Ozturk, the former air force commander, is also on trial in a separate case, accused of being a ring-leader of the coup.
The incidents that took place in the aftermath of the coup attempt proves how strong Turkey’s democracy is.— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) 19 de julio de 2016
BURHAN OZBILICISUZAN FRASER