Seventy four people, including soldiers, were sentenced to life in prison by a Turkish court on Wednesday for their role in an attempted coup, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said.
More than 240 people, most of them unarmed civilians, were killed on the night of July 15, 2016, when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and warplanes in a botched attempt to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey blames US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen for the abortive putsch and has carried out a widespread crackdown on his suspected supporters, detaining some 160,000 people, including academics, soldiers and civil servants.
Of those, 77,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during trial, according to the interior minister.
On Wednesday, the court sentenced the 74 defendants to aggregated life sentences for ‘attempting to disrupt the constitutional order’, Anadolu said.
Aggravated life sentences are subject to a harsher regime in prison, and are not eligible for parole or general amnesty. It was not immediately clear how many soldiers were among the group sentenced.
Rights groups and Turkey's Western allies have voiced concern about the scope of the purges, saying Erdogan had used the coup as a pretext to quash dissent.
The government, however, says the measures are necessary due to the gravity of the threats it is facing.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Drone blast hits Iraq airport in new tactic against US troops
Suez megaship owner haggles over $900m release demand
Iran's Zarif warns US against sabotage, sanctions
Oman reports 1480 new coronavirus cases, 13 deaths in past 24 hours
Natanz nuclear site hit by terrorism, says Iran
Iran orders 10-day shutdown amid 4th wave of Covid-19
Tunisian president holds talks with Sisi in Cairo
Egyptologists uncover ‘lost golden city’ buried under the sands