An İstanbul court on Tuesday handed down aggravated life sentences to 12 defendants including four generals on charges of violating the constitution due to their alleged role in a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
In the latest hearing of the main coup trial in İstanbul at the İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court, defendants Ahmet Gümüş, Eyyüp Gürler, Sadık Cebeci, Nebi Gazneli, Müslüm Kaya, Şakir Çınar, Fethi Alpay, Fatih Karakaya, Özkan Aydoğdu, Mehmet Kapan, Murat Yanık and Ömer Faruk Özköse were given aggravated life sentences.
The failed military coup attempt claimed the lives of 249 people and injured a thousand others.
Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.