04:06 GMT17 January 2021
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    Turkey thwarted a military coup attempt in 2016 that Ankara blamed on Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen and his movement. Gulen, who has resided in the US since 1999, has denied the allegations.

    The pilots, accused of airstrikes on the parliament building, the presidential palace, and the security services office in Ankara during an attempted coup d'etat in 2016, have been given a life sentence, the broadcaster NTV reported Thursday.

    According to the Anadolu news agency, the punishment was handed down to all of the defendants accused of playing a role in the failed coup attempt in July 2016.

    Among those sentenced to life in prison, the news outlet names former lieutenant Mustafa Mete Kaygusuz, "who sent bombing instructions"; pilot Muslim Macit, "who killed 15 people near the presidential complex"; and former Incirlik 10th Tanker Base Commander Bekir Ercan Van, "who provided fuel to the pilots who hit Ankara" during the coup attempt.

    A military coup attempt took place in Turkey on 15 July 2016, but was suppressed the following day. It left over 240 people dead and an estimated 2,000 wounded. The government blamed the followers of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, referred to as the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation, for being the driving force behind the coup attempt. Gulen, who has resided in the US since 1999, refuted the allegations.

    coup, Turkey
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