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Turkish courts hands down 1,934 life sentences in coup-related trials: report

Silivri Prison in İstanbul has become a symbol of Turkey, the biggest jailer of journalists around the world. / AFP PHOTO / Yasin AKGUL

A total of 1,934 people were given life sentences by Turkish courts in trials related to a 2016 failed coup attempt, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday.

Of these convicts, 978 were jailed for life while 956 were sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.

According to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), aggravated life provides fewer rights to the convict such as less frequent visitors in prison than a straight life sentence. There is also no chance of parole under an aggravated life sentence.

Two hundred thirty-nine out of 289 cases opened after the coup have been closed by the courts, the report said.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the abortive putsch, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.

In these trials more than 3,000 people were convicted of Gülen links, with 1,123 given jail sentences ranging from a year to 20 years.

Turkey has arrested more than 70,000 people on charges of membership in the Gülen movement since the coup while dismissing some 140,000 public servants during now-ended two-year state of emergency.

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