A new documentary, The Blue Bus, provides a comprehensive account of the 2016 coup attempt through the perspective of the military cadets who have been jailed, exiled and subjected to social isolation in the past six years in Turkey.
The documentary, named after the military bus that carried on the night of the failed coup, features previously unseen footage and interviews from cadets who were forced to take part in the attempt by their superiors.
With on-the-ground footage and exclusive interviews with cadets, “The Blue Bus” reveals the behind the scenes of the failed attempt in its entirety.
A total of 259 military cadets were detained on coup charges on July 16, 2016 and were jailed pending trial four days later. On January 19, 2018, a total of 37 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. On May 18, 2018, 62 others were sentenced to life in prison over similar charges. On May 25, 2018, 116 cadets and on July 17, 2018, 44 more cadets were imprisoned for life on charges of attempting to destroy the constitutional order due to their alleged role in a coup attempt.
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 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.