10 suspects jailed on coup participation charges released by court

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A İstanbul court on Friday released from jail 10 of 14 suspects standing trial on charges of participation in a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 by occupying the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Berkay Demir, Ali Aydoğan, Cem Karaaslan, Arif Emre Esen, Fahrettin Kemal, Feyyaz Yörük, Reşat Ardıl, Şahin Kurt, İbrahim Tıraş and Hüreyre Can Çatal were all released by the court.

The other suspects, Maj. Faruk Şimşek, Capt. Gökhan Güney, Hasan Hüseyin Altunsoy and Muzaffer Dikencik, will remain under arrest as the trial proceeds.

Turkey faced a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the background of which still remains a mystery. The parliamentary Coup Commission completed its investigation without hearing the testimony of Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar or National Intelligence Organization Undersecretary (MİT) Hakan Fidan.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the botched coup a great gift of God as he immediately put the blame on the Gülen movement. While Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen denies masterminding the coup, a leaked European intelligence report in January revealed that there is no concrete evidence proving that Gülen ordered the coup.

Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement.

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