Turkey coup trials to begin early 2017: Prosecutor

The first trials of the thousands of suspects arrested in the wake of Turkey’s failed July 15 coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will begin in early 2017, the chief Ankara prosecutor said on Thursday.
Turkey's former Chief of Staff Ilker Basburg (C) speaks to the members of a parliamentary commission investigating the failed July 2016 coup, at the parliament in Ankara on November 3, 2016.(AFP)
Turkey's former Chief of Staff Ilker Basburg (C) speaks to the members of a parliamentary commission investigating the failed July 2016 coup, at the parliament in Ankara on November 3, 2016.(AFP)
Published on Nov 03, 2016 07:11 PM IST
Copy Link
ByAFP, Istanbul

The first trials of the thousands of suspects arrested in the wake of Turkey’s failed July 15 coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will begin in early 2017, the chief Ankara prosecutor said on Thursday.

Thousands of ex-soldiers, legal workers and civilians are currently in jail pending trial on suspicion of involvement in the coup, which Ankara says was masterminded by the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

“Without giving an exact date, we are expecting to begin the first trials at the start of 2017,” Ankara’s chief prosecutor Harun Kodalak said in comments published by Turkish media.

He added: “There could be a trial or trials opened in the last month of this year but it is in 2017 that we are planning to open a series of trials,” he said.

The trials are expected to be the most substantial legal process in Turkey in its modern history, with purpose-built facilities needed to be set up in some areas.

The scale of the crackdown and the duration of the suspects’ stay in pre-trial detention has caused international concern and strained Turkey’s ties with the European Union.

Gulen, who has been based in the United States since the late 1990s, has vehemently denied the claims of his involvement in the coup.

Turkish officials have in recent days said two civilians -- a theology lecturer named Adil Oksuz and businessman Kemal Batmaz -- were in charge of organising the coup bid from the Akinci airbase in Ankara.

According to prosecutors, the two were in the United States and only returned to Turkey two days before the coup bid.

Batmaz is in custody in Sincan prison outside Ankara. Embarrassingly for the Turkish authorities, Oksuz was detained in the aftermath of the coup but then released and is now on the run.

According to Kodalak, video footage has confirmed that Batmaz was at the base on the night of the coup. Batmaz has denied involvement in the coup.

Turkish officials have said that Oksuz was the so-called “imam” of the plot and in charge of coordinating between Gulen and the army.

But Kodalak said Batmaz “could be as important as Adil Oksuz and even his superior”.

According to a report Wednesday by Turkey’s NTV television, the authorities had thwarted a mass escape plan by 5,544 coup suspects.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • George W Bush on Wednesday mistakenly said ‘brutal invasion of Iraq’ while he meant to say the brutal invasion of Ukraine.

    In a gaffe, Bush slams 'invasion of Iraq', corrects promptly saying 'I'm 75'

    Former US President George W Bush accidentally said Iraq instead of Ukraine as he was condemning the invasion by calling it brutal and unjustified. But instead of Ukraine, Bush said Iraq, immediately correcting himself saying, "I mean of Ukraine." Taking a pause, he said, "Iraq too, anyway, I am 75," following which the audience broke into laughter. Bush said Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is a "cool little guy" and compared him to Winston Churchill.

  • In this screen shot from video of her 2016 court appearance, romance writer Nancy Crampton Brophy appears in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland.

    She wrote on 'how to murder your husband'. Then her husband was found dead

    A writer who penned a piece titled "How To Murder Your Husband" is on trial in the United States for...killingnovelist Nancy Crampton Brophy'sr husband. Prosecutors say the 71-year-old writer was struggling to make payments on her mortgage, but kept up multiple life assurance policies that would pay out a total of $1.4 million in the event of hDandemise. Daniel Brophy, 63, was found dead that morning by students readying for a class.

  • Right now, about a third of the US population lives in areas that are considered at higher risk — mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.

    Covid-19: A third of US should be considering masks, officials say

    Covid-19 cases are increasing in the United States — and could get even worse over the coming months, federal health officials warned Wednesday in urging areas hardest hit to consider reissuing calls for indoor masking. Increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations are putting more of the country under guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that call for masking and other infection precautions.

  • A Member of the FBI search for evidence at the scene of a weekend shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on May 18, 2022. 

    New York: 911 dispatcher who took Buffalo shooting call put on leave

    A 911 dispatcher has been placed on leave and may lose her job after allegedly hanging up on an supermarket employee hiding during this weekend's shooting rampage in Buffalo, New York. “Termination will be sought” for the dispatcher at a disciplinary hearing later this month, said spokesperson for the executive of Erie County, Peter Anderson, in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday. Anderson said it's unclear who hung up on whom.

  • An image from April of Sri Lanka Air Force members guarding the Prime Minister's official residence, Temple Trees, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo. (REUTERS)

    Sri Lanka economic crisis: CID interrogates 4 MPs over attacks on protesters

    A team of Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigations Department have questioned four Members of Parliament (MPs), including two former ministers, over last week's violence against protesters at two protest sites in Colombo, the country's largest city, local media has reported. According to reports, a CID team arrived at the Parliament Complex on Wednesday to interrogate--with the Speaker's permission--and record the statements of Rohitha Abeygunawardena and CB Ratnayake, both former ministers.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 19, 2022