By Durmus Genc
Two former Turkish naval officers got life sentences late Wednesday for violating the Constitution during last year's defeated coup by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Former Rear Adm. Namik Alper, FETO’s so-called “martial law commander” in the southwestern province of Mugla, and former Col. Aytunc Kan were convicted by Mugla’s 2nd Heavy Penal Court of trying to overthrow Turkey’s constitutional order through violence as part of the coup bid.
The court said the crime of attempting to overthrow the Constitution includes attempts to overthrow and hinder parliament and the government.
Halit Cokan, a prime ministry lawyer, told reporters following the conviction that this is the first time a court has judged one of the so-called martial law commanders, who would have been expected to exercise authority if the illegal putsch had succeeded.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup 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.