Suspects face 37 life terms each for coup activities on July 15 Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul
AP photoThe investigation into the events that unfolded during the July 15 coup attempt on the July 15 Martyrs Bridge has been completed, with prosecutors seeking 37 aggravated life sentences each for all 143 suspects.
Some 34 people, including two police officers, were killed on the bridge that was blocked by soldiers participating in the coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Erol Olçok, who was the owner of an advertising agency, and his son, Abdullah Tayyip Olçok, were among those killed on the bridge, which was called the “Bosphorus Bridge” before the thwarted attempt.
According to the indictment prepared by prosecutors Hikmet Pak and Bülent Başar from the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Terror and the Organized Crime Investigation Bureau, the suspects, of whom 135 are under arrest, are accused of “attempting to remove the Turkish Parliament or preventing it from carrying out its duties,” “attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic or preventing it from carrying out its duties,” “attempting to remove the constitutional order” and “intentional killing.”
Eight suspects without arrest, including privates, left the bridge after “understanding the gravity of the situation,” said the indictment from 318 complainants.
Moreover, the indictment said the first deaths on July 15 occurred on the bridge after a tank used by coup soldiers made artillery shooting and the soldiers opened fire with long-barreled weapons starting at around 12:40 a.m. on July 16.
New security camera footage was also featured in the indictment, which showed that soldiers blocked the roads starting from 9:45 p.m. on July 15.
While the crowds were seen gathering on the bridge at around 12:40 a.m. on July 16, the number of people resisting the coup soldiers were increasing at around 2:00 a.m.
The footage showed people walking towards the bridge from the European side at around 2:45 a.m.
In addition, Major Ahmet Taştan was seen ordering coup soldiers to open fire on civilians, while former Lt. Col. Turgay Ödemiş was also present.
According to the footage, the coup soldiers opened fire on civilians and the recordings stop with civilians walking towards the soldiers, as the tanks fired artillery shots at 6:35 a.m.