A Turkish court on Thursday gave life sentences to 24 people in one of the biggest trials over the 2016 failed bid to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media reported.
Of the 24, the judge gave 17 accused 141 aggravated life terms each over the deaths of 139 people, for “violating the constitution” and “attempting to assassinate the president”, state news agency Anadolu reported.
Such sentences carry harsher prison conditions.
Former air force chief Akin Ozturk and Mehmet Disli, the brother of former ruling party politician Saban Disli, who since September has served as Turkey’s ambassador to the Netherlands, were among the 17.
There was a tense atmosphere minutes before the judge issued his verdicts with dozens of people including relatives of those killed during the coup bid in July 2016, lambasting the court for not allowing them to enter.
Saliha Arigan, whose son was killed on the night of the failed overthrow, pressed herself against the gates, crying and shouting to be allowed inside.
“The state should be ashamed,” she said. Even as the verdicts were handed down, the strained mood continued with further attempts by individuals to enter the courtroom complex by force.
Via WN / AFP / Anadolu