Trial Starts in Turkey Against Gülen, 269 Coup Attempt SuspectsSoutheast Europe | January 30, 2017, Monday // 16:26| views
The biggest trial until now in relation to the unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey last summer has started in a specially built and equipped judicial hall in the city of Izmir.
A total of 270 people will be tried, including Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen who is living in exile in the USA – allegedly “the brain behind the coup attempt”. 152 of the suspects are in preliminary custody. Fethullah Gülen will be tried in absentia.
General Memduh Hakbilen, former chief of staff of Turkey's command for the Aegean region and other high-ranking officers are among the indicted, reported Anadolu Agency, cited by AFP and BGNES.
Ankara claims that Fethullah Gülen’s organisation is a terrorist one, in spite of the fact that its members say they are practising moderate Islam.
The detainees have been indicted on several charges, including membership in “an armed terrorist group”. They have also been indicted for obstructing Parliament’s work and trying to depose the constitutionally established order.
The detainees may receive life sentences if found guilty.
The trial is expected to last two months.
Turkey has demanded that the USA extradite Fethullah Gülen on several occasions. He has been living in exile in the USA since 1999.
The trial started amidst strengthened security measures.
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