World Bulletin / News Desk
The hearing of 1,837 Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) suspects over links to last year’s defeated coup began on Monday at a court in the Turkish capital Ankara.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 that martyred 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.
The Sincan Criminal Courthouse complex hosted six separate trials over FETO's involvement in the Turkish General Staff, Akinci Airbase, Gendarmerie Schools Command, and Turkish Military Academy as well as the Polatli 58th Artillery Brigade, Artillery, and Missile School Command.
Appearing in court were 221 suspects in the General Staff case, 486 suspects in the Akinci Airbase case, and 239 suspects in the military academy case. Also, the trial of 330 suspects from the 58th Artillery Brigade along with the Artillery and Missile School Command in the capital Ankara’s Polatli district is also continuing.
In two separate criminal courts in Sincan, 317 suspects and another 244 suspects in the Gendarmerie Schools Command Case appeared before a judge on Monday.
In the Akinci Airbase case, former Brig. Gen. Gokhan Sahin Sonmezates, accused of attempting to assassinate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the defeated coup, made his plea on Monday.
During his hearing, Sonmezates claimed that he was not being tried "fairly" and refused to answer any questions from the judge or prosecutors.
Tensions in the court room later rose as some of the complainants and suspects were evicted from the courtroom.
The court decided to reconvene for the Turkish General Staff main coup-plotters case on Tuesday morning. The hearing of the Gendarmerie Schools Command case ended after the identification of 244 suspects, and the chief judge decided to reconvene on Tuesday.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.