The mother of one of the soldiers who were jailed on coup charges in the aftermath of a military coup in July 2016, has called on the Turkish authorities to release his son, saying that he was only a new recruit in the 2nd month of his mandatory military service on the night of the failed attempt in 2016.

He was, however, given an aggravated life sentence, said Fadime Akgül, mother of Yasin Akgül, bursting into tears during a street interview with a Youtube channel known as the Tüylü Mikrofon.

“They punish innocent children for what happened. My son is still in prison. It has been 6 years,” she said.

The military coup attempt killed 251 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 in the attempt.

Hundreds of new recruit soldiers and military cadets were sent to prison the next day. A large majority of them 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 victims 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.