Trial of 150 ex troops begin in accusation of military coup in Turkey

Monday 09 October 2017 2 weeks ago 21   Ankara   Print

Report  Web Desk : Ankara: Almost 150 former Turkish military personnel go on trial over clashes on an Istanbul bridge during last year’s failed coup that claimed dozens of lives including a key aide of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The bridge across the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul was the scene of bloody fighting between Erdogan supporters and renegade soldiers seeking to oust the elected government on the night of July 15, 2016. The dead included Erdogan campaign manager Erol Olcok and his 16 year old son Abdullah Tayyip, who were killed when soldiers opened fire on protesters on the bridge which connects Asia and Europe. Erol Olcok had named his son after Erdogan and his predecessor as president, Abdullah Gul. A total of 143 suspects, including 30 officers, will appear in court. All the suspects bar eight are being held under arrest. They are accused of crimes ranging from murder to attempting to overthrow the parliament and the government, according to the 1,052 page indictment. If convicted, the suspects each face 37 life sentences, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency. Monday’s trial is one of several legal processes seeking to bring to justice those believed to have played a role in the coup bid which left 249 people dead, not including the putschists. Over 50,000 people have been arrested since last July, accused of links to the Gulen movement, while more than 140,000 public sector employees have been sacked or suspended. 02