The defendants accused of plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s governments include
ex-generals, opposition politicians and journalists, whom critics accuse the government of prosecuting in order to silence opposition and disempower the army. Former chief of staff Gen. Ilker Basburg was among those jailed for life. The verdicts were handed down after trials lasting more than five years. The prosecution said the “Regenekon coup” was plotted 10 years ago with the complicity of the Israel Mossad which was alleged to have given the plotters weapons.
Journalist Tuncay Özkan and retired general Veli Küçük were sentenced to aggravated life sentences, while Workers' Party leader Doğu Perinçek received 117 years in prison. Retired General Hurşit Tolon was sentenced to life in prison. Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Mehmet Haberal was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison while another CHP deputy, Mustafa Balbay, was sentenced to 34 years and eight months in prison. Reading of the verdicts continues.