Ankara: A Turkish Court has convicted as many as 300 former and current military officers of plotting coup, aiming to overthrow the secular government in 2003, state television reported. It includes the former air force and navy chiefs, the case has limited the military’s hold on politics, report added.
A panel of three judges at the Turkish court on outskirts of Istanbul finds 330 military staff guilty of attempted coup and sentenced them to range between 15-20 years for officers.
The court initially sentenced former army commander Cetin Dogan, former air force chief Ibrahim Firtina and former navy chief Ozden Ornek to life imprisonment but later reduced the decree to a 20-year jail term, local media reported. These three were the mastermind behind the plot. The officers were expected to appeal the verdict.
Meanwhile, Erdogan’s government has hailed the trial which began in December 2010 and seems more confident with each of its three electoral successes since 2002 and has been drawing reins on the powers of the armed forces.