Turkey jails 22 ex-soldiers for life over an attempted coup in 2016

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IslamNews – A Turkish court on Wednesday sentenced 22 former soldiers to life in jail for their roles in a failed 2016 bid to remove President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In its latest mass trial of suspects whose failure to depose Erdogan was followed by a sweeping political crackdown and arrests, an Ankara court investigated the role of 497 former soldiers, including members of the presidential guard.

The putsch attempt included a raid on Turkey’s main state television broadcaster, whose newscaster was forced to read out a statement from the military leaders.

One of the president’s lawyers provided AFP news agency with a document showing the judge jailing 22 former ranking military personnel for life.

These included former lieutenant colonel Umit Gencer, who was convicted of “violating the constitutional order” by making TRT television read out a “coup declaration”.

The court also handed ex-major Fedakar Akca an aggravated life sentence for leading a team from the regiment to the general staff headquarters on the night, state news agency Anadolu reported.

Former colonel Muhammet Tanju Poshor received his sentence for directing the occupation of the TRT building, it added.

An aggravated life sentence has tougher terms of detention and replaced the death penalty after it was abolished in 2004.

Another ex-major, Osman Koltarla, was in charge of the presidential palace’s security at the time. The court handed him a life sentence.

Source: Aljazeera

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