Four separate courts in Turkey sentenced 12 people to jail on Wednesday for being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated July 15, 2016 coup, according to judicial sources.
The 17th High Criminal Court in capital Ankara sentenced Erdal Togac, a former colonel, to 11 years and three months in prison for “being a member of the armed terrorist organization”.
The same court also handed down 10 years’ jail term to each of two former doctors.
Fatma Demirel and Buket Erkoyuncu, who were already dismissed from their positions following the defeated coup in 2016, were convicted for “being a member of armed terrorist organization” and “fraud in official documents”.
They were arrested when they attempted to escape abroad illegally.
In northwestern Tekirdag province, the 3rd High Criminal court sentenced Nurullah Atac, a former police officer, to nine years in prison for membership in an armed terrorist group.
In Samsun, a Black Sea province in northern Turkey, six defendants, including a so-called imam -- a senior terrorist responsible for coordinating FETO cells -- were given six-years-and-three-months prison terms each.
The convicts were charged with “being a member of the armed terrorist organization”, “establishing and directing an armed terrorist group”, and “opposing the law on preventing the finance of terrorism”.
Another high criminal court in Sanliurfa, a southeastern province, sentenced Bayram Kaya, a university student, to nearly seven years in jail for his membership in an armed terrorist organization.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
*Omer Ural from Tekirdag, Recep Bilek from Samsun and Rauf Maltas from Sanliurfa contributed the story.