SILIVRI, Turkey, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 23rd Jan, 2017 ) - Dozens of rebel Turkish soldiers went on trial Monday over their alleged role in last year's failed coup, in the first case to be heard of dissident troops in Istanbul. Prosecutors say the defendants attempted to take over Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the night of July 15, when rogue elements in the army sought to bring down President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government. The hearing opened under tight security at a court complex in Silivri on the outskirts of Istanbul.
Twenty-eight out of 62 suspects are being held under detention, the official Anadolu news agency reported. Turkish authorities blamed followers of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen for the putsch, which prompted a relentless purge of what the government calls the "virus" from state institutions. Gulen denies Ankara's accusations. The suspects are facing life imprisonment on multiple charges, including use of force to try to destroy constitutional order, and "decapacitate" the Turkish parliament and the Turkish government, Anadolu reported.