Sincan, Turkey: A Turkish court on Thursday gave life sentences to 24 people including senior military officers in one of the biggest trials over the 2016 failed bid to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The judge handed 17 of those sentenced 141 aggravated life terms each over the deaths of 139 people, for “violating the constitution” and “attempting to assassinate the president”, state news agency Anadolu reported.
Seven others were given between one and 17 aggravated life sentences each, according to Anadolu.
Such sentences carry harsher prison conditions.
More sentences are expected to be handed down on Thursday against others among the 224 suspects on trial.
Among them is US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey accuses of ordering the attempted putsch which left hundreds dead and thousands more injured in July 2016. Gulen strongly denies the claims.
Turkey has failed to secure his extradition.
Former air force chief Akin Ozturk and Mehmet Disli, the brother of former ruling party lawmaker Saban Disli, who since September has served as Turkey’s ambassador to the Netherlands, were among the 17.
One suspect, Lieutenant Colonel Levent Turkkan, who was the aide to then Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, was given one aggravated life sentence, Anadolu reported.
There was a tense atmosphere minutes before the judge issued his verdicts with dozens of people including relatives of those killed during the coup bid in July 2016, lambasting the court for not allowing them to enter....