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Nearly 500 suspects stand trial over Turkey's failed coup

Dozens of Turkish prisoners flanked by troops have been paraded outside court as 500 suspects went on trial today over the failed coup to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The trial is taking place in Turkey's largest courtroom established inside a prison complex in Sincan near Ankara to hear coup-related trials and has space for 1,558 people.

Suspects include a number of generals and military pilots. They are accused of leading last year's failed coup attempt and carrying out attacks from an air base in Ankara.

A group of 41 defendants were today paraded from their jail to a courthouse that was built especially at a prison complex to try the coup plotters.

They were handcuffed, with two paramilitary police officers on each arm and protected by armed special force officers.

Dozens of Turkish prisoners flanked by troops have been paraded outside court as 500 suspects went on trial today over the failed coup to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Dozens of Turkish prisoners flanked by troops have been paraded outside court as 500 suspects went on trial today over the failed coup to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Defendants Kemal Batmaz (first row centre) and Akin Ozturk (second row centre) and other suspects arrive for their trial accompanied by military officials

Defendants Kemal Batmaz (first row centre) and Akin Ozturk (second row centre) and other suspects arrive for their trial accompanied by military officials

Defendant Akin Ozturk (second left) and other prisoners were flanked by police as they arrived for their trial

Defendant Akin Ozturk (second left) and other prisoners were flanked by police as they arrived for their trial

U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government blames for the coup, has been named as the main defendant in the case and will be tried in absentia. 

Former air force commander Akin Ozturk and other defendants stationed at Akinci air base, in the outskirts of the capital Ankara, are accused of directing the coup and bombing key government buildings, including the parliament.

Many of the 486 suspects face life terms in prison for crimes that include violating the Constitution, murder, attempt to assassinate the president and overthrow the government.

The trial is one of dozens that are

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