Nearly 500 on trial over Turkey's failed coup

Europe' politics of fear of Turkey

Europe' politics of fear of Turkey

The trial of 486 suspects who are accused of conspiring in a failed coup of the Turkish government a year ago, began Tuesday in Ankara.

A total of 486 suspects will go on trial in a purpose-built courtroom outside the capital Ankara, charged with crimes ranging from murder, violating the constitution and attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

If convicted, numerous 486 suspects risk life terms in prison for crimes that include violating the constitution, attempted assassination of the president, trying to abolish the republic and seizing military headquarters.

Among the accused are Fethullah Gulen, the Muslim cleric suspected of ring-leading the attempted coup, and Akin Ozturk, [1] "the so-called imam of the plot".

Gulen has denied any involvement in the coup attempt, and Turkish prosecutors have not presented any evidence suggesting Gulen gave a direct order to initiative a government overthrow.

On July 13, the country's Interior Ministry announced that a total of 50,510 people had been arrested and 169,013 had been subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which left over 240 people killed and some 2,000 others wounded.

Two militants killed in South Kashmir encounter
The security forces are going after militants as part of operation "hunt down" and on the basis of a "hit list" of militants. The slain militants have been identified as Irfan Ahmad Sheikh and Abid Magray, both locals belonging to Hizbul outfit.

Established in 1960 in a distant suburb of Ankara, the Akinci Air Base was closed down after the coup and changed its name to Murted Base Command.

Military chief Gen Hulusi Akar and other senior officers were held hostage at the base for several hours on the night that the coup took place.

The base's runways were bombed on the night of the putsch to prevent F-16s used by the coup plotters from taking off.

Adil Oksuz, a former theology lecturer, reportedly convinced the security forces who rounded him up to belileve that he was looking for an estate ground to purchase in the vicinity of the air base.

Businessman Kemal Batmaz, meanwhile, is accused of assisting Oksuz.

The failed coup killed some 249 civilians and the government declared a state of emergency.

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