23, May 2017
Turkey has opened the trials of 221 suspected organizers of a failed July 2016 coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The hearings began at the Sincan prison complex near the capital, Ankara, on Monday. The prime suspects are alleged members of the so-called Peace at Home Council, a group on whose behalf a coup declaration was read on state television on July 15 last year.
They include Gen. Akin Ozturk, a former air force commander. He was transferred to the courtroom amid high security. A crowd of jeering Erdogan supporters reportedly called for him to be executed as he was being transferred past them.
Other defendants include US-based cleric Fetullah Gulen, a former Erdogan aide, whom Erdogan accuses of masterminding the putsch. Gulen has denied the accusation. Aside from Gulen, eight other defendants will be tried in absentia.