Coup leaders stand trial in Turkey

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Coup leaders stand trial in Turkey

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A landmark trial is underway in Turkey as the leaders of the 1980 coup are called to court.

Now 30 years on, a court in Ankara will hear the case against Kenan Evren, 94, who went on to serve as President after the coup.

Following the military uprising, 50 people were executed, half a million were arrested and hundreds died in jail.

Evren, now silver haired and frail, is unlikely to appear in court. He, along with fellow surviving coup architect Tahsin Sahinkaya, will give their testimonies via video link.

After having their immunity overturned by referendum two years ago, prosecutors are demanding life terms. However, it is expected that due to old age and ill health, the two will avoid prison.

The trail is symbolic of Turkey’s shift from military power to politics but many are still finding it difficult to forget the brutal events of the past.

A demonstrator outside the court remembered her experiences of that time: “My father and husband were tortured on September 12 1980,” she said. “They were detained. We experienced the tragedy along with them so we are applying to be co-plaintiffs to call them into account.”

Hundreds of others have applied to be part of the prosecution, meaning their grievances would also be taken into account.