Bilal Gülfidan, a purge-victim military cadet, died of cancer on Friday, the Askeri Öğrenci Komitesi reported.

Gülfidan was among the 259 military cadets have been given aggravated life sentences on coup charges.

He was held in prison for over two years until he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in early 2019.

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.

 

The military coup attempt 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 movement. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the failed coup.