Updated 5:23 am, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A court in southwestern Turkey sentenced at least 34 suspects to life in prison Wednesday, convicting them of charges that include attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during last year’s failed coup, Turkish state television TRT reported.
A total of 46 suspects — 37 of them former military personnel — have been on trial since February in the city of Mugla accused of attempted assassination, violation of the constitution and other crimes against the state during the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
The defendants were accused of attacking the hotel in the resort of Marmaris where Erdogan was staying, killing two policemen. Erdogan had left the hotel shortly before it was stormed.
Turkey has blamed the coup on the movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers are accused of infiltrating the military and other state institutions. Gulen denies the charges.
State television TRT said the court handed down life prison terms to 34 of the defendants. One defendant, a former lieutenant-colonel, was acquitted. It did not report on any sentences yet for eight other suspects.
The trial against Gulen, who was named as one of the defendants, and two other defendants who were on the run, will continue separately, TRT reported.