News / Middle East

Turkey Sentences Two 1980 Coup Leaders to Life in Prison

FILE – Two surviving leaders of a 1980 military coup, Gens. Kenan Evren, center, and Tahsin Sahinkaya, second from right, were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for crimes against the state by a court in Ankara, Turkey, June 18, 2014.
FILE – Two surviving leaders of a 1980 military coup, Gens. Kenan Evren, center, and Tahsin Sahinkaya, second from right, were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for crimes against the state by a court in Ankara, Turkey, June 18, 2014.
VOA News
A Turkish court handed down life sentences to two aging generals who were behind a 1980 military takeover that resulted in widespread torture, arrests and deaths, making it the bloodiest in Turkey's coup-ridden history.

General Kenan Evren, 96, who came to symbolize the “Pasha” officer class that dominated Turkish politics over decades, also served as president after three years of military rule.
 
Evren, who may not serve his sentence because of his age, never expressed regret for the coup that he always argued ended years of left-right street fighting that had killed thousands.
 
“Should we feed them in prison for years instead of hanging them?” he asked in a speech in 1984, referring to those executed after the coup.
 
Fifty people were executed by the military, about 600,000 were arrested and hundreds disappeared.
 
A court in Ankara found Evren, 96, and Tahsin Sahinkaya, 89, guilty of setting the stage for a military intervention, ousting the civilian government by force and committing acts against the forces of the state.
 
Prosecutors had demanded so-called aggravated life sentences for Evren, who became president after the coup, and Sahinkaya, the former air force commander.
 
The ruling sparked cheers and applause from the public gallery inside the courtroom, who chanted: "This is just the beginning, the coup authors will pay the price."
 
The generals seized power on Sept. 12, 1980, but were only brought to trial for their role in the coup in 2012, after the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party secured constitutional amendments in 2010 to revoke their immunity.
 
Evren and Sahinkaya, who are being treated at military hospitals in Ankara and Istanbul respectively, appeared via video screens for Wednesday's hearing.
 
The case against Evren, who had lived for decades in retirement on the Aegean coast, was part of moves by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to break the domination of the armed forces in politics.

The generals, known as “Pashas,” forced four governments from power between 1960 and 1997.
 
Hundreds of other officers have been jailed after investigations known as “Ergenekon” and “Sledgehammer.” The army has also been excluded from state bodies that had exerted influence on politics, especially after the 1980 coup.

Evren and Sahinkaya are expected to appeal the verdict.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid