Aug 09 2018

Turkish officers convicted in “Sledgehammer” trials promoted to key posts

Twenty Turkish generals and admirals previously imprisoned on accusations of plotting a coup have been appointed to key posts within the military, Sözcü newspaper said on Thursday.

More than 300 military officials were convicted in 2012 in the so-called Sledgehammer coup trial brought by prosecutors and tried by judges linked to the Gülen movement, a secretive Islamist network previously allied to the government that infiltrated the judiciary and other state authorities and used those positions to eliminate political opponents.

Courts cleared the same officers in 2015 after the government and the movement fell out, a rift that culminated with a Gülenist attempted coup in July 2016.

Major-General Levent Ergün, who was previously sentenced to 13 years in jail in the Sledgehammer trial, is appointed as the head of General Staff’s operations division, while two other Sledgehammer suspects became vice chief of staffs of Turkey’s Aegean army and navy. 

Thousands of officers linked to the Gülen movement have been jailed since 2016.