In Turkey the trial against 486 people who allegedly took part in a failed coup orchestrated by preacher Fethullah Gülen in the summer of 2016 is under way. The prosecution wants life imprisonment for many of the accused - and crowds outside the court are calling for the death sentence. The expectations of the press regarding the trial vary considerably.
AKP creating myth about founding of a new Turkey
The trial will contribute little to shedding light on the real motivations behind the failed coup, fears the taz:
“A mass trial in which the defendants have long been condemned and are now being called on to defend their innocence before a biassed judiciary. ... Even the parliamentary investigation committee formed last year to look into the night of the coup failed because the AKP majority prevented the key witnesses from being summoned. The subsequent accusation leveled by opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu that the whole thing was a controlled putsch will not be refuted by this trial. All this mass trial really serves is the government's historiography which sees the supposedly heroic prevention of the putsch as the founding myth of its new Turkey.”
Coupists putting on a show in court
According to the pro-government daily Yeni Şafak the accused are telling the most brazen lies:
“While the public prosecutors in the trials that are being held to convict the most deceitful and comprehensive network of traitors in Turkish history in all its dimensions read the charges, the coupists are using every trick in the book to put on their own show. … They claim never to have had anything to do with [the Gülen movement] Fetö, that they didn't even know Fetö and were only present that night to join in the actions against the coup; that they met the coupists purely by coincidence. … Even for Fetö supporters, lying is no doubt immoral, but that they can do so unabashedly probably means they are using religious motives to justify themselves.”