wnol.info March 22 2018

Hundreds to face judges in Turkey's biggest coup trial

March 22 2018, 07:52 | Irvin Gilbert

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The largest trial over Turkey's coup attempt previous year started in Ankara on Tuesday, with 486 suspects expected to appear in court.

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.

The trial focuses on events at the Akinci air base which it is alleged was the plotters' headquarters.

Strict security is being implemented at a purpose-built courtroom outside the capital.

Families of those killed or wounded during the coup attempt protested outside the courthouse, some throwing ropes toward the defendants demanding that the death penalty be reinstated and that they be hanged.

Some of the demonstrators had relatives killed or injured during the coup attempt and threw nooses towards the suspects.

Several trials related to the coup are ongoing in Turkey.

In a statement, the ministry said 831 of those were detained for suspected ties to the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating an attempted coup in July.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses academics during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey July 26, 2017.

Mr Erdogan's critics say he is using the purge that followed the coup to stifle political dissent.

Mr Gulen - the chief suspect in the case - is among those being tried, albeit in absentia.

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