Prosecutor seeks life terms for coup soldiers who raided Doğan Media Center
An Istanbul prosecutor has sought aggravated life sentences for three ranking soldiers in a case into the raid on the Doğan Media Center in Istanbul on the night of the 2016 failed coup attempt.
The prosecutor demanded at a hearing on Feb. 28 two life terms for Ahmet Kaya and life terms for Mehmet Akif Aslan and Erdal Şeker.
The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office accuses the three arrested suspects of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.”
It also seeks additional jail terms for them ranging from 1.5 years to 12 years on charges of “obstructing communication” during the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) led by the U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen.
The prosecutor asked for the acquittal of 16 other suspects, who were enlisted as troops at the time.
The coup soldiers entered the parking lot of the Doğan Media Center, where the Hürriyet Daily News, Hürriyet, CNNTürk, Kanal D and other Doğan media companies are headquartered, on a helicopter at 3 a.m. on July 16, 2016.
“The General Staff has seized power of the state,” they shouted after splitting into two groups and opening fire into the air.
They also threatened personnel at the Doğan Media Center with guns and demanded them to open the doors. One of the captains also granted permission to another soldier under his command to shoot anyone who moved, according to the indictment.
The raid on Hürriyet came after CNN Türk anchorwoman Hande Fırat put President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on TV during the coup attempt, helping him make a call to the nation to resist the plotters after Turkey’s public broadcaster TRT was occupied.