Turkey, July 15 coup bid

Turkey: 13 get heavy life sentences over coup bid

8 ex-soldiers and 5 civilians sentenced over trying to cut TURKSAT satellite feed as part of coup bid of July 15, 2016

Turkey: 13 get heavy life sentences over coup bid

By Aylin Sirikli and Ferdi Turkten


A Turkish court on Monday handed down aggravated life sentences to 13 people convicted of trying to cut the signal feed of Turkish satellite operator TURKSAT during last year's defeated coup.

In the case of 17 people charged over the coup bid, Ankara’s 14th High Criminal Court sentenced 13 -- eight former soldiers and five civilians -- to aggravated life sentences for violating the Constitution.

The ex-soldiers -- Eray Uckun, Ibrahim Altinok, Melih Varol, Mustafa Altunay, Mesut Sancak, Fatih Arslan, Ersan Kuluclu, and Osman Kemal Kucuk -- also got an additional aggravated life sentence for their role in the deaths of two TURKSAT personnel, Ahmet Ozsoy ve Ali Karsli, the night of the coup bid.

Hearings will be held separately for four other suspects in the case who remain at large: Tayfun Karaoz, Ergun Ozyurt, Ismail Donat, and Ibrahim Yilmazbas.

The satellite and communication agency in Ankara's Golbasi district was also bombed during the night of the coup attempt. The putschists dropped four MK-82 bombs on the facility using F-16 aircraft.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara 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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