Draconian sentences for Turkish putschists

Four years after the failed coup in Turkey, 337 people have been sentenced in Ankara to life imprisonment for violating the constitution, manslaughter and attempts on the president's life. Some of the arraigned received as many as 79 life sentences. On 15 July 2016, members of the Turkish military staged an abortive attempt to topple the government, which believes a "Fethullahist terror organisation" (Fetö) led by the preacher Fethullah Gülen was behind the coup.

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Hürriyet (TR) /

Satisfaction for all Turks

The putschists are getting the punishment they deserve, the pro-government daily Hürriyet believes:

“The verdict handed down in this trial not only means the end of their lies, but also the end of the dream that the Fetö leader expressed 30 years ago: 'If we are on the march in 20 to 30 years, nobody will be able to do a thing about it'. The Turkish people have shattered those dreams. Neither July 15, nor our martyrs and veterans, nor the Fetö supporters' betrayal, nor the fact that the US continues to protect Fetö leader Gülen [who lives in Pennsylvania] despite all the evidence, will be forgotten.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

A demonstration of power by a weakened leader

La Vanguardia sees a connection between the harsh prison sentences and Erdoğan's declining popularity:

“Right from the start, in addition to ensuring that the putschists were punished, this trial served to demonstrate Erdoğan's power and send a warning. ... Erdoğan's first years in power were good for the Turkish economy, with an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent. His popular support increased, especially in the more conservative, rural areas. But in the last five years the prosperity has declined. And his foreign policy actions - Turkey's involvement in the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, its gas explorations off the coast of Cyprus - have caused trouble with its regional neighbours and the EU. ... Erdoğan continues to tighten the rope.”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Decline began with the coup

The taz's Turkey correspondent, Jürgen Gottschlich, knew from the outset that there would be no mercy in these proceedings:

“Nor did they have anything to do with independent justice. In many cases, there were hardly any lawyers in the coup trials who were prepared to take on the defence of the accused. ... One could say with cynicism that the coupists of 2016 gave Erdoğan a perfect opportunity, which the latter has used to establish absolute power. Since then the country has staggered from one crisis to the next. ... Economically, Turkey is in a decline that threatens the existence of many people, and Erdoğan has completely isolated the country with his foreign policy. This is the real, bitter result of this failed coup attempt.”