Court procedures for civilian and armed members of the FETO terror group who were active perpetrators of the defeated 2016 coup attempt are drawing to a close, as 275 of 289 coup cases were concluded and 4,130 defendants were sentenced, said Turkey’s justice minister on Monday.
Speaking at a symposium on the defeated July 15, 2016 coup, Abdulhamit Gul commented on the coup bid, the fight against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) – which was behind the coup attempt – and how the judicial process progressed.
Gul said the coup attempt was one of the worst acts of treachery in Turkish history, but the “legendary” resistance of the Turkish people triumphed in the end.
Stating that the coups in Turkish history, starting in the 1960s, harmed both the country’s administration and its citizens, Gul said the 2016 attempt diverged from others in the sense that Turkey’s fundamental democratic institutions were targeted for the first time and the people balked and rose against it.
The putsch attempt came from militants who infiltrated the army structure, but Turkey’s loyal patriotic soldiers played a critical role in suppressing the betrayal.
Stressing that legal proceedings for the coup bid’s main perpetrators were launched right away, he said the final verdicts on FETO affiliates were rapidly progressing towards a conclusion.
According to Gul, the judiciary concluded 275 first-degree trials out of 289 coup cases, and a total of 4,130 defendants got sentences, including 2,332 aggravated or life sentences.
Courts distinguish between guilty and innocent defendants and there are defendants who were later acquitted as prosecutors work carefully to bring justice, he said.
The fight against terrorists will continue until the FETO terror group is fully eradicated, he said.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey 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.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
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