Turkey: 1980 coup ringleaders must face trial in person

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Turkey: 1980 coup ringleaders must face trial in person

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Former Turkish President Kenan Evren is standing trial for leading a 1980 coup that shaped the country for three decades.

The case has begun in a court in Ankara. Aged Evran and surviving coup architect Tahsin Sahinkaya had requested giving testimonies via video links. Judges have ruled this evidence would not be admitted.

Following the military take-over, fifty people were executed, half a million were arrested and hundreds more died in jail.

Demonstrators gathered outside the court to demand justice and the prosecution of more than just the coups leaders.

Meryem Günes, a relative of coup victims remembers her experiences:
“My father and husband were tortured on September 12, 1980. They were detained. We experienced the tragedy along with them.”

Ahmet Türk a Pro-Kurdish MP talks about why this trial is so important:
“It is not a matter of sentencing General Kenan Evren and Tahsin Sahinkaya. It is a matter of showing people and society how the army used people. People should know that.”

The government and at least 350 individuals and groups have become party to the prosecution. This means their personal grievances will be taken into account during the trial.