From our foreign desk is the report that a Turkish court has jailed 337 former pilots and other suspects for life over plot to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a failed coup attempt four years ago, a court document obtained by Newsmen revealed on Thursday.
According to the document, nearly 500 defendants were accused of carrying out the attempt to overthrow the government on July 15, 2016, from an airbase near the capital, Ankara.
The trial was the highest-profile of dozens of court cases targeting thousands of people accused of involvement in the coup attempt, which Ankara blamed on the supporters of the United States-based Muslim preacher and businessman, Fethullah Gulen.
A total of 475 defendants were on trial, 365 of them in custody.
Out of the 337 life sentences given, 291 were aggravated life sentences – the most severe punishment in Turkish courts – meaning there is no possibility of parole, state news agency, said.
Anadolu and other agencies said at least twenty five F-16 pilots were given aggravated life sentences.
Former air force commander Akin Ozturk and others at the Akinci airbase near Ankara were accused of directing the coup and bombing government buildings, including Parliament, and attempting to kill Erdogan.
Turkey’s then-military chief and now defence minister Hulusi Akar and other commanders were held captive for several hours at the base on the night of the coup.