More than 5,000 FETO suspects to stand trial in January


A total of 5,710 suspects will stand trial in January in Turkey as part of ongoing investigations into the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which attempted to overthrow the government on July 15, 2016.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

A total of 3,934 defendants in 14 provinces will stand trial in 33 cases for their roles in the defeated coup bid while 776 defendants will appear before the court in 23 separate cases in 13 provinces for their FETO links.

The accusations include being a member of an armed terrorist organization, attempting to overthrow the Turkish Republic and the constitutional order, and committing murder on the night of July 15, 2016.

The Bosphrous Bridge case and the Akinci airbase trial are two major ongoing trials linked with last year's defeated coup.

Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge, which was renamed the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge, was seized by soldiers on the coup bid night and became a focus for those resisting putschists in Istanbul.

At least 34 people were gunned down on the bridge before the rebellious troops surrendered as the coup bid crumbled. The incident has led to 143 soldiers standing trial.

At Akinci, an air base to the north of the capital Ankara -- renamed Murted after the defeated coup -- coup plotters had established a command center to coordinate attacks, including fighter jets that attacked the parliament and the presidential complex.

A total of 486 defendants will stand trial for their roles at the Akinci air base. The first trial of the case will be heard on Tuesday.

The trial of 244 suspects in Gendarmerie General Command case will also be heard in the capital.

Another trial on Tuesday will be the case of the Army Aviation Command, which includes 155 people -- 152 of whom are former soldiers -- as defendants.

Among other trials expected to be heard in the capital in January is the case involving 534 defendants, including former Col. Ali Yazici, Erdogan's former military aide, and former Col. Muhsin Kutsi Baris, Presidential Guard Regiment, and the case regarding Sgt. Omer Halisdemir.

Halisdemir became a symbol of the Turkish nation's resistance to the failed July 15 coup attempt after he shot pro-coup Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi in the forehead at the entrance of the police special operations headquarters in Ankara.

In Istanbul, the trial of Hrant Dink case, which includes Fetullah Gulen and former prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, will be tried.

After FETO -- which Turkey accuses of having plotted last year's deadly defeated coup of July 15 -- was officially tied to the case in April, 2017, 85 defendants will appear before the court in January.

According to a 120-page indictment, soldiers and police involved in the Dink murder later played an active role in the coup attempt.

Also, 24 defendants involved in the main coup case, which also includes Gulen, and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge case are also among trials to be heard in Istanbul.

Istanbul's Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, alongside Bosphorus Bridge, had been closed by pro-coup soldiers, who opened fire on people who came out to protest against the attempted takeover, on the night of the coup bid.

Three people were martyred and another 49 injured on the bridge before the rebellious troops surrendered as the coup bid crumbled. The incident has led to 61 suspects standing trial.

Contact Us