Turkish court sentences 72 defendants to life in coup bridge trial

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court sentenced 72 defendants to life in prison on Thursday for their roles in clashes on a suspension bridge in Istanbul in which 34 people were killed during an attempted coup two years ago, according to state-run Anadolu agency.

More verdicts are expected to be issued for 71 other defendants in the case. Defendants were charged with deliberately killing civilians who heeded a call from President Tayyip Erdogan to challenge the coup plotters on the bridge across the Bosphorus Strait.

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Renamed the “July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge”, the bridge was a flashpoint for clashes on the night of the coup. Victims included Erol Olcok, an advertiser who ran political campaigns for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, and his 17-year-old son.

The coup attempt prompted an extensive crackdown against soldiers, civil servants, and academics suspected of links to the Muslim cleric whom Turkey blames for the abortive putsch.

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Television channels have been airing footage of soldiers who participated in the coup surrendering, stripped of their clothes and weapons, and headscarved women squaring off against tanks in the street.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1756057/3-turkish-court-sentences-72-defendants-life-coup-bridge-trial/