Seventy-four former Turkish pilots on Thursday received life sentences on charges of attempting to overthrow the government in a trial related to a 2016 failed coup, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Fifty-six of the defendants received aggravated life sentences with no chance of parole, while 18 of them got life in prison.
On the night of the coup attempt, they were at the Army Aviation Regiment in the Turkish capital city of Ankara.
Six defendants who were given aggravated life sentences were accused of bombing the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and General Staff headquarters.
Ex-soldier Uğur Kapan, who piloted the plane that brought former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar from Akıncı Airbase, the headquarters of the putschists, to a safe place along with Mehmet Dişli, a key suspect of the coup attempt, also received a life sentence.
The court also handed down seven-and-a-half years to İdris Feyzi Okan, who was promoted to brigadier general after the coup attempt and became commander of the Army Aviation Regiment.
Okan was later dismissed and arrested on charges of being a follower of the Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating the abortive putsch, although it denies any involvement.
Among the pilots who were given an agreviated life sentences is Turkey’s first female fighter pilot, Kerime Yıldırım. On the night of the coup attempt, she piloted the helicopter that landed at Beşiktaş’s Vodafone Arena.
Forty-five defendants received sentences ranging from six years, three months to 18 years for their alleged roles in the 2016 coup.