Almost 150 go on trial over Turkey coup bridge massacre

2017-10-09 09:24
Turkish troops escort a man accused of attempting to kill Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the failed coup.   (Cavit Akgun, DHA-Depo Photos via AP)

Turkish troops escort a man accused of attempting to kill Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the failed coup. (Cavit Akgun, DHA-Depo Photos via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Silivri - Almost 150 former Turkish military personnel go on trial on Monday over clashes on an Istanbul bridge during last year's failed coup that claimed dozens of lives, including a key aide of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The bridge across the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul was the scene of bloody fighting between Erdogan's supporters and renegade soldiers seeking to oust the elected government on the night of July 15, 2016.

It was later renamed by the government as July 15 Martyrs' Bridge.

The dead included Erdogan's campaign manager Erol Olcok and his 16-year-old son Abdullah Tayyip, who were killed when soldiers opened fire on protesters on the bridge which connects Asia and Europe.

Erol Olcok had named his son after Erdogan and his predecessor as president, Abdullah Gul.

A total of 143 suspects, including 30 officers, will appear in court. All the suspects bar eight are being held under arrest.

1 052-page indictment 

They are accused of crimes ranging from murder to attempting to overthrow the parliament and the government, according to the 1 052-page indictment.

If convicted, the suspects each face 37 life sentences, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Monday's trial is one of several legal processes seeking to bring to justice those believed to have played a role in the coup bid which left 249 people dead, not including the putschists.

Last week, a court in southwestern Turkey handed life sentences to 40 people convicted of plotting to assassinate Erdogan at an Aegean hotel.

Erdogan has vowed to purge all state institutions to clean the "virus" of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen whom his government blames for the putsch.

The cleric, who lives in Pennsylvania, has denied any involvement.

Over 50 000 people have been arrested since last July, accused of links to the Gulen movement, while more than 140 000 public sector employees have been sacked or suspended.

Many civilians rushed to the bridge on the night of the coup, heeding Erdogan's call to quash the putsch bid, but the renegade soldiers then shot at them.

Thirty-four civilians and seven coup plotters were killed on the Bosphorus bridge, according to the indictment.

But by the early morning hours, the soldiers surrendered to police, laying down their arms on the bridge and raising their hands in an enduring image of the coup's defeat.

Coup defeat

Erdogan attended the funeral of the Olcoks and others two days after the coup bid, weeping openly in a rare show of emotion.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.