Jul 12 2018

Dozens convicted for coup attempt, Gülen links

Over a hundred soldiers and four businessmen have been handed prison sentences by Turkish courts on Thursday in the latest round of thousands of convictions in the years following the foiled July 2016 coup attempt.

Seventy-two soldiers were hit with life sentences after being judged to have knowingly taken part in the coup attempt, during which they were involved in some of the bloodiest fighting on one of Istanbul’s bridges spanning the Bosphorus – now renamed the 15th July Martyrs bridge in honour of the hundreds of people killed by putschists on the night.

Twelve more received life sentences for premediated murder for killing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s electoral campaign manager, Erol Olçok, and his son, Adullah Tayyip Olçok, near the bridge on the night of the coup.

Another 22 were handed sentences of 17 years and six months, while five received 15 years for “aiding in an attempt to overthrow the constitutional order.”

On the same day, four businessmen from Boydak Holding, a major Turkish company, were convicted in Kayeri, central Anatolia, for the company’s alleged links to the Gülen religious movement, which the Turkish government hold responsible for planning the coup attempt.

The company’s executives, Memduh Boydak, Haci Boydak, Şükrü Boydak and Mustafa Boydak, received sentences ranging between seven-and-a-half and 15 years, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The court also ruled to take over the shares owned by the four in the lucrative holding company, which comprises 42 companies employing 14,000 staff in diverse fields ranging from furniture to energy.

Like many other companies alleged by the Turkish government to have links to the Gülen movement, Boydak Holding will be placed under government trusteeship.

Hundreds of thousands have been jailed, fired from their jobs or otherwise affected in a series of purges ongoing since shortly after the coup attempt took place.