Almost 500 Suspects On Trial Over Turkey's Failed Coup

213 PKK suspects detained in anti-terror operations last week

The suspects, who are to stand trial on Tuesday, are accused of conspiring to overthrow the government from an airbase seen as the plotters' hub.

A total of 593 people were detained by Turkish police as part of the investigations into the coup, the Turkish Minute newspaper reported. According to the charges, Hulusi Akar, the chief of staff of the military, was taken hostage and brought to the base during the coup attempt.

Former air force commander, Akin Ozturk and other defendants stationed at an Ankara air base are accused of directing the coup and bombing key government buildings, including the parliament. Gulen was once allied with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, though the two subsequently fell out. Families of those killed or wounded protested outside the courthouse, with some throwing hangman's nooses or stones toward the defendants as they arrived under tight guard, shouting "murderers" and demanding that the death penalty be reinstated.

The key suspect is Fethullah Gulen, a US -based preacher, who is accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating the failed military coup.

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A total of 486 suspects accused of running the attempt are going on trial.

Several trials related to the coup are ongoing in Turkey.

The government declared a state of emergency after the coup attempt and embarked on a large-scale crackdown that has alarmed Western allies of Ankara, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and candidate for European Union membership.

Following the July 15 coup, Turkey has arrested some 50,000 people and sacked or suspended more than 150,000 in the military, civil service and private sector as part of a sweeping crackdown that has anxious rights groups and some Western nations.

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