Ankara police detained at least 66 people on Sunday including Melek Çetinkaya, the mother of one of the military cadets who were jailed in the aftermath of a failed military coup in July 2016, in order to prevent them from starting a “March of Justice” from Turkey’s capital of Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the imprisonment of military cadets on terror, coup charges.

Whereabouts of the detainees are currently unknown.

Activists and tens of purge-victims gathered in Ankara’s Güven park early on Sunday in order to start a march from Ankara to the Silivri Prison in İstanbul, where the cadets have been held since the failed coup attempt in 2016. However, Ankara police with assault rifles blocked the entrance to the park and the detained at least 66 activists in order to prevent them from starting the march.

A total of 259 military cadets were detained on coup charges on July 16, 2016 and were arrested four days later. The cadets were indicted one year after they were sent to jail, and their trial was concluded in May 2018. One hundred seventy-eight of the cadets were given life sentences on charges of attempting to overturn the constitutional order and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and parliament by use of force as well as membership in a terrorist organization.

The cadets say they had no information about a coup attempt unfolding and were acting on orders from their superiors, who told them there was a terrorist attack.

As of January 2020, at least 355 military cadets have been given life sentences on coup charges.

The military coup attempt killed 355 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the abortive putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen group. The group denies any involvement.