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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey hands life sentence to 92 people over 2016 coup attempt

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 30 December 2020 4:45 PM

A court in Turkey has handed life sentences to 92 people, including former high-ranking army officials, for involvement in the 2016 failed coup.

The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that 12 of the defendants received life sentences without parole on Wednesday, including some department heads of the land forces.

During the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had seized control of the country and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no more in charge.

The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.

Ankara has since accused US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, Erdogan's ally-turned-foe, of having orchestrated the coup. Gulen denies any involvement.

Since the coup attempt, nearly 100,000 people have been held pending trial and some 150,000 civil servants were sacked or suspended. The defense ministry said 20,833 people were expelled from the military.

Ankara's post-coup mass arrests have drawn criticism from human rights organizations and Turkey's Western allies.

Rejecting that criticism, the Turkish government defends the crackdown as a necessary response to a national security threat.

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