Turkey: 200 on trial over coup attempt

A trial over the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey began at a prison courtroom in Sincan on May 22. Two hundred of the 221 defendants in the case were marched into the courtroom before a group of pro-government protesters, some of whom threw nooses and demanded the death penalty. Many of the protesters had lost relatives during the coup, which resulted in 240 deaths, primarily civilians. Most of the defendants are former military personnel, with ranks ranging from captains to generals. Prosecutors are seeking life sentences for the defendants, who they are accused of "commandeer[ing] tanks, warplanes and helicopters, bombing the parliament and attempting to overthrow the government." US-based Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen, named as the number one defendant in the case and accused of orchestrating the coup, will be tried in absentia.

From Jurist, May 23. Used with permission.

See our last post on the consolidating dictatorship in Turkey.

  1. Erdogan extends state of emergency in Turkey

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on May 21 that the state of emergency instated after last year's failed coup would continue until the country reached "welfare and peace." The state of emergency gives Erdoğan and his cabinet nearly unlimited power, as it allows them to issue decrees without parliamentary oversight or review by the constitutional court. Thus far the decrees have permitted the government to jail at least 120 journalist and more than 40,000 people accused of plotting a failed attempt at a second coup. Additionally, more than 140,000 people have been fired or suspended and over 150 news sources have been shut down. In April a decree issued under the state of emergency blocked access to Wikipedia. (Jurist, May 23)

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