World Bulletin / News Desk
The two surviving leaders of the bloody Sept. 12, 1980 coup, then-Chief of General Staff Ahmet Kenan Evren and former commander of the Air Forces Tahsin Şahinkaya, are expected to testify at Friday's hearing via a teleconferencing system.
The 12th High Criminal Court, overseeing the Sept. 12 coup trial, previously decided that the two coup plotters could give evidence to the hearing, slated for Friday, via a teleconferencing system due to health reasons. Both Evren and Şahinkaya are at the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA), receiving treatment. Şahinkaya has been treated at the hospital for Parkinson's disease since 2000, while Evren has been a patient of GATA since 2009.
The indictment, which came after a year-long investigation, was submitted to the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court in January and seeks life imprisonment for Evren and Şahinkaya. The first hearing in the trial of the leaders of the bloody coup d'état that took place on Sept. 12, 1980, was held on April 4 in Ankara.
The Sept. 12, 1980 military coup was the bloodiest and best planned in the history of Turkey. A total of 650,000 people were detained during this period, and files for 1,683,000 people were kept at police stations. A total of 230,000 people were tried in 210,000 cases, mostly for political reasons. A further 517 people were sentenced to death, while 7,000 people faced charges that carried a sentence of capital punishment. Of those who received the death penalty, 50 were executed. As a result of unsanitary living conditions and torture in prisons, a further 299 people died while in custody.
The Ankara 12th High Criminal Court received more than 500 applications for co-plaintiff status in the Sept. 12 trial from Parliament, the government, many political parties and a variety of civil society organizations. However, the court previously announced that the number of people who asked the court to be granted co-plaintiff status in the case is beyond the capacity of the courtroom and it can only accept 63 people as co-plaintiffs. The court also announced that only 21 seats would be allocated to the press due to a lack of space.
Among those whose applications for co-plaintiff status have been accepted are former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Alparslan Türkeş's son Ahmet Kutalmış Türkeş, Professor Baskın Oran, relatives of Erdem Şenocak, Ali Sarıbal, Zeynel Abidin Ceylan, Satılmış Şahindokuyucu, Hasan Asker Özmen and Abdullah Gülbudak, who were all tortured and killed during the coup period. Also among the organizations and political parties whose applications were accepted are the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (Hak-İş), the Ülkü Ocakları Education and Culture Foundation and bar associations of Diyarbakır, Muğla and Mersin.
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The testimony process began at noon Thursday, and lasted for about 11 hours. The court is due to issue an order about the investigation Friday
“This is a positive development,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson has said