Published: Tue, August 01, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

486 suspects appear in court in Turkey's largest coup trial

486 suspects appear in court in Turkey's largest coup trial

A key trial started in Turkey on Tuesday, with 486 suspects facing a range of serious charges related to the failed coup attempt a year ago.

A total of 593 people were detained by Turkish police as part of the investigations into the coup, the Turkish Minute newspaper reported.

In the aftermath of their botched attempt, thousands of people have been arrested, many suspected of having links to Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in the US. Gulen is being tried in absentia, and denies any role in the coup attempt.

The coup was executed outside the chain of command.

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. The charges range from murder to violating the Turkish constitution to attempting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Numerous 486 suspects face life terms in prison for crimes that include murder and attempt to assassinate Erdogan.

Those held in custody include Akin Ozturk, a former air force chief who - like several suspects - is also on trial in another case related to the coup bid.

Following the coup, the government instituted a strict state of emergency, granting itself wide-ranging powers.

Following the July 15 coup, Turkey has arrested some 50,000 people and sacked or suspended more than 150,000 in the military, civil service and private sector as part of a sweeping crackdown that has anxious rights groups and some Western nations.

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