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Turkish court sentences dozens to life in prison for 2016 coup attempt | Voice of America

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Turkish state media reported on Wednesday that a Turkish court sentenced dozens of people, including former soldiers attached to the presidential guard, to life in prison for their involvement in the failed coup attempt. of 2016 against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogans.

Turkish state press service Anadolu, citing judicial sources, reported 32 life sentences, including six sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment, meaning they must serve without the possibility of parole. for at least 30 years.

A total of 497 defendants have been on trial since 2017 for attempting to seize military headquarters in Ankara, occupy the headquarters of the state-owned TRT channel and forcing a television broadcaster to read a statement on behalf of the plotters. of the coup.

The massive lawsuit was one of hundreds of lawsuits against alleged members of a network led by US cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the failed attempt. Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan, denies the accusation.

The convictions stem from the July 2016 coup attempt, in which factions within the Turkish military used tanks, fighter jets and helicopters in an attempt to overthrow Erdogan.

Fighter jets bombed Parliament and other places in the Turkish capital. Hearing a call from the president, thousands of people took to the streets to stop the coup.

A total of 251 people were killed and around 2,200 others were injured. Around 35 suspected coup plotters were also killed.

The government has designated the Gulens network as a terrorist group, a claim it denies. He lives in the state of Pennsylvania, in the northeastern United States.

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