ANKARA: FEB 20,
A trial opened in southern Turkey on Monday for 47 people charged with attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the night of the failed coup, while he was vacationing with his family.
The suspects, 37 of whom are former military personnel, face possible life sentences on charges that include attempted assassination, overthrow of the constitutional order and other crimes against the state during the July 15 coup attempt.
2 cops were killed
The defendants are accused of attacking the hotel in the resort of Marmaris, where Mr. Erdogan was staying, killing two policemen.
The President had left the hotel shortly before it was stormed. Turkey has blamed the coup on the movement led by United States-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers are accused of infiltrating the military and other state institutions. Mr. Gulen has condemned the coup attempt and has denied he was involved, although he acknowledged that some supporters may have participated in the uprising. The trial is being held in the city of Mugla, near Marmaris, at a trade center building which was turned into a temporary court because the courthouse is too small to hold such a high-profile case.
The defendants were frog-marched to court in groups of 10 or 12, with two paramilitary police holding each of them by their arms.
A police helicopter circled overhead and police snipers watched from the rooftop of the building.
Some 60 pro-government demonstrators staged a protest against the Gulen movement, waiving Turkish flags and holding up placards demanding that the death sentence be reinstated for the coup plotters.
ANKARA: FEB 20,