486 suspects face justice in Turkey's largest coup trial

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-02 10:12

The base's runways were bombed on the night of the putsch to prevent F-16s used by the coup plotters from taking off. According to the indictment, almost all F-16 pilots at the former Akinci base were members of the Gulen movement, which Turkey claims as a terrorist organization.

Turkey is seeking Gulen's extradition from the U.S. but the two NATO allies are at loggerheads on his case.

"It is very important for our country to entirely shed light on the events of the 15th treason (coup attempt), this is why we are asking Washington to deliver us this individual," a source close to the government explained to Xinhua, regretting that until now very little help has been provided from the United States.

In addition to holding generals captive, the suspects are held responsible for bombing key structures like the parliament building, the Special Forces Headquarters at Golbasi district, the TURKSAT satellite center and the Police Headquarters, as well as commanding the air actions of the coup attempt, including the movement of F-16 jets.

A total of 461 suspects are being tried in jail, 18 are being tried without arrest, and seven key figures are still on the run, including Adil Oksuz, known as "Air Force imam," who was last seen on the morning of July 16 near the air base by gendarmerie forces. Oksuz is allegedly the main liaison to Gulen.

Other civilians such as Kenal Batmaz, Harun Binis and Hakan Cicek are also accused of being the pillars of the coup operation at the air base as they were thought to have issued instructions to generals that night.

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