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    1980 Military Coup Leader sentenced to life in prison

    The Ankara 10`th High Criminal Court handed life sentences to the 1980 coup leaders. The coup leader Kenan Evren and the-commander of the Air Force, Tahsin Şahinkaya.

    The 22nd hearing in the ongoing 12 September 1980 coup trial was held on Wednesday in Ankara.

    The hearing started with the chief public prosecutor Erdinc Hakan Ozbakiroglu"s submission of his opinion statement demanding aggravated life sentences for Evren (95) and Sahinkaya (90). The demand of the prosecutor was based on the charge of overturning the constitutional order of the country under Article 146 of the Turkish Penal Code.

    The defendants participated at the hearing from the military hospital in Ankara via the court's video conferencing system and argued that they were forced to intervene to re-establish order in the country.

    The court first sentenced the two coup leaders to aggravated life imprisonment, but then reduced it to life in prison due to mitigating circumstances.

    The court also ruled that the coup leaders should be stripped of their military ranks.

    The trial of Evren and Sahinkaya started on 12 September 2012 after the constitutional referendum in 2010, which opened the way for their trial.

    The 1980 coup was the third and bloodiest coup d'etat in Turkey

    Over half a million people were arrested and tortured, 230,000 were tried, 517 were sentenced to death and 50 were executed during the 3 years of military rule. Over 300 people died in police custody due to torture.


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