Turkish court upholds 'Sledgehammer' coup convictions

Oct. 9, 2013 at 5:16 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A Turkish appeals court upheld the convictions Wednesday of a group of military leaders charged with participating in an attempted coup.

Among those who lost their appeals was Gen. Cetin Dogan, who was charged with masterminding the so-called Sledgehammer coup and who once served a commander of the First Army, Today's Zaman reported. Dogan was sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction last year.

The government charged that Dogan and other military officers planned the coup in 2003, the year that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a moderate Islamist, became prime minister. The plot included carrying out bombings at mosques and other violent acts to cause social conflict and lay the ground for a military takeover, officials said.

Admiral Ozden Ornek, former head of the Turkish navy, and Gen. Ibrahim Fortina, who once commanded the air force, were convicted with Dogan and also received 20-year sentences.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of 237 people, including Dogan.

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