Istanbul court acquits 23 conscripts present during July 2016 coup attempt
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
AA photoOn July 7, an Istanbul court ordered the acquittal of 23 conscripts who took part in the July 15 coup attempt, in what is the first verdict in the coup cases filed against soldiers in the city.
The Istanbul 24th High Criminal Court ordered the acquittal of the conscripts who had been among 24 defendants tried in the case regarding the seizure attempt of the Istanbul Governor’s Office on the night of the attempted takeover.
The court said the 23 conscripts, who had been carrying out their mandatory military service at the time, did not have any intention of committing the crime and acquitted them of all charges.
The soldiers had been dispatched to the governor’s office to give assistance to soldiers who had attempted to seize the building.
However, the court handed the non-commissioned officer Yusuf Yıldız an aggravated life sentence on charges of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.”
In his plea, Yıldız reportedly denied being a member of what prosecutors call the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), accused of masterminding the coup attempt, saying he had not supported the coup.
His lawyer also claimed that Yıldız had acted in line with the orders given to him by high-ranking officials and did not use his weapon during the coup attempt.
The court, meanwhile, did not hand give Yıldız any sentence on charges of “attempting to overthrow the Grand National Assembly” or “being a member of the FETÖ/PYD armed terror organization.”