Four other high-ranking Army officers sentenced to life imprisonment for 2016 coup attempt in Turkey


A Turkish court on Wednesday sentenced four other former senior Army officials to life imprisonment for their role in the attempted coup of July 2016, in the framework of a process against about 500 people, including several former members of the Presidential Guard.

Among those convicted are Umit Gençer, a former lieutenant colonel who forced a presenter on the TRT network to read a statement announcing the coup, as well as Muhammet Tanju Poshor, a former colonel who gave the order to take control of the building from this media.

Likewise, Fedakar Akça, a former major who broke into the headquarters of the Army General Staff, and Osman Koltarla, another major person in charge of the security of the Presidency building, have been sentenced to life imprisonment, as reported by the Turkish state agency news, Anatolia.

The authorities accused the Islamist cleric Fetulá Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile since 1999, of being behind the riot, something he has denied. The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Gulen were political allies until the Police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, alleged sympathizers of the cleric, according to the Turkish Government, opened an investigation into corruption in 2013 against several high-ranking officials.

After that, the Turkish president accused the cleric of conspiring and erecting a parallel state to overthrow the Government with the help of the Police and sympathetic media, initiating an arrest campaign that escalated after the attempted coup.

The scope of the persecution of people allegedly linked to the attempt has alarmed human rights organizations and western allies of Turkey, who have accused Erdogan of having launched a purge to end all critics of his management.

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