Eighteen Turkish coup trials rumble on into 2020

Eighteen cases out of 289 related to a coup attempt in 2016 in Turkey are still awaiting courts’ verdicts, Daily Sabah reported on Thursday.

The courts have concluded 271 cases that went to trial after the failed putsch in 2016, which the Turkish government says was organised by a religious group, the Gülen movement.

Following the coup attempt, which left 251 killed and 2,200 wounded, the Turkish authorities designated the group led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen as a terrorist organisation, branding it with the acronym FETÖ.

A total of 3,879 defendants have been convicted over links to Gülen movement in post-coup trials, including 2,335 who were sentenced to life in prison and 1,544 to prison terms ranging from one year and two months to 20 years. 

Prosecutors have launched 100,000 investigations since the coup attempt, and new trials may begin in 2020 as Turkish authorities arrested hundreds in 2019 over links to the Gülen movement.

More than 77,000 people have been arrested and another 150,000 public employees have been suspended or sacked as part of a global crackdown on the group by the Turkish government.

The Gülen movement denies any involvement in the coup attempt.