Almost 500 Suspects On Trial Over Turkey's Failed Coup

Aug 01, 2017, 22:44
Almost 500 Suspects On Trial Over Turkey's Failed Coup

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not backing down in his post coup hounding as Turkey is set for its largest trial with almost 500 to face judges for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government a year ago.

A total of 593 people were detained by Turkish police as part of the investigations into the coup, the Turkish Minute newspaper reported.

Turkey coup anniversary
Turkey set for its largest trial with nearly 500 to face judges over failed coup

Gulen, who has been living in the United States since 1999, denied allegations of involvement and condemned the attempted coup.

The main defendant in the case is USA -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government blames for the coup, and the 76-year-old will be tried in absentia.

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The coup was executed outside the chain of command.

Relatives of some of the killed on the night of the coup gathered in front of the courthouse and shouted "We want death penalty" slogans.

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Those held in custody include Akin Ozturk, a former air force chief who - like several suspects - is also on trial in another case related to the coup bid.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses academics during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey July 26, 2017.

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The government declared a state of emergency after the coup attempt and embarked on a large-scale crackdown that has alarmed Western allies of Ankara, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and candidate for European Union membership. About 1,000 businesses have been taken over by the state while media organizations have been shuttered and journalists arrested.