Turkey is holding its largest trial ever over the July 2016 coup attempt
Turkey is holding its largest trial ever over the July 2016 coup attempt. Almost 500 people were escorted into court amid protesters taunts, many of whom shouted ‘we want the death penalty’
The trial centres around the Akinci air base which, the government alleges, was the plotters’ headquarters.
Defendants will appear in a purpose-built courtroom outside the capital Ankara, facing a number of charges from attempting to assassinate the president to murder.
Rebel soldiers tried to grab power in July 2016, leaving 249 civilians dead. In the aftermath which was led by military officers, 40,000 people were arrested and 120,000 sacked or suspended.
They included soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants – all of whom were accused of having links with militant groups. And arrests have continued en-mass ever since.
To further cement his position President Erdogan narrowly won a controversial referendum on increasing his powers earlier this year. It was a move that bitterly divided Turkey, with critics arguing it brings him closer to authoritarian rule.