Alican Ergun, one of the 355 military cadets who were jailed on coup charges in the aftermath of a failed military coup in July 2016, was released from prison for a day to attend his father’s funeral. Alican spent the day of his father’s funeral in handcuffs and under close supervision of police officers with assault rifles.

 A military coup attempt in 2016 killed 249 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 strongly denies any involvement in the failed coup.

After the failed attempt, a total of 355 military cadets, whose ages range from 18 to 25, were sentenced to life in prison for 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.

The purge-victim cadets are curently being held in İstanbul’s Silivri prison.