Turkey Military Coup

Two Officers Sentenced to Life in Prison in 1st Turkey Coup Convictions

ANKARA, Turkey — A court in eastern Turkey has sentenced two former military officers to life terms in prison, in the first convictions over the failed military coup in July.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said that the court in Erzurum on Thursday convicted ex-Col. Murat Kocak and ex-Maj. Murat Yilmaz of attempting to abolish Turkey's "constitutional order."

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The two were on duty at Erzurum's gendarmerie command at the time of the botched July 15 coup, which the government says was orchestrated by a network of followers of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. The cleric denies involvement.

The two defendants have rejected the accusation.

Turkey declared a state of emergency after the coup attempt and engaged in an unprecedented crackdown on Gulen's movement, arresting 41,000 people and purging more than 100,000 from government jobs.

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