TURKEY

Over 80 FETO-linked coup plotters get aggravated life terms in July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge case

A Turkish court on Thursday handed life prison terms to dozens of suspects in a trial over the deadly clashes on an Istanbul bridge during the July 15, 2016 failed coup, state media reported. The night of the coup bid by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), 34 people were martyred on the Bosphorus Bridge.

A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced 84 defendants to aggravated life imprisonment in a major case concerning the 2016 defeated coup, centered around deadly confrontations on one of Istanbul's major bridges.

The night of the coup bid by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), 34 people were martyred on the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge -- then called the Bosphorus Bridge -- including prominent advertiser Erol Olçok and his son Abdullah Tayyip Olçok.

All but two of the martyrs were civilians; the remaining two were police officers.

A total of 133 suspects remanded in custody were at Thursday's hearing at Istanbul's 25th Criminal Court, according to judicial sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

During the hearing, 72 out of the suspects got aggravated life sentences for trying to overthrow the constitutional order, while 12 others got the same sentence for the murder of Olçok and his son.

The remaining suspects were sentenced to jail terms of 15-17 years, the sources added.

-DEADLY NIGHT ON BRIDGE
Around 10.00 p.m. local time (1900GMT) on the night of the coup, the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge was closed bid by rogue soldiers.

Incidents on the bridge were among the deadliest attacks carried out by pro-coup forces.

FETO, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, orchestrated the defeated coup, which left at least 251 people martyred and around 2,200 others wounded.

The government also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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