Following the last hearing of the trial held on 26 October 2018 before the Ankara 16th Heavy Penal Court, 26 military judges and prosecutors received several sentences in prison from six months three months to seven years six months. (1) The same court had also sentenced 28 military judges and prosecutors between six years three months and eight years nine months on 19 July 2018. (2)
In the indictment, the military judges and prosecutors were charged with carrying the same motivation and actions along with the military personal who had launched the coup attempt because the names of the accused military judges and prosecutors were allegedly found on “the Martial Court Assignment List” despite the fact that who prepared that list is still unclear. The chief judge of the court, Sabahattin Saridogan announced that while the military judges were requested to be sentenced for “attempting to abolish the constitutional order” and for “qualifed theft by deception by causing loss to public organs and institutions”, they found the defendants not guilty under the obtained evidence. However, the chief judge stated that the court found the defendants guilty for “being members of an armed terrorist organisation.”
Since the July 15-coup attempt, it has been a common practise of the Turkish courts that those who had been previously arrested and detained due to the accusations of participation in the coup and attempting to abolish the constitutional order have been sentenced for “being members of an armed terrorist organisation” even though no evidence showing their participation in the coup was found while they should have been acquitted from all charges.
The contradiction in the court’s decision is clear: The military judges and prosecutors who were indicted with being coupers and attempting the abolishing the constitutional order just because their names were allegedly found on the “Martial Court Assignment List”, were found not-guilty for attempting a coup due to the lack of evidence: However, the same list, who prepared that list is still undetermined, is accepted by the courts as a concrete evidence for “being a member of an armed terrorist organisation.”
Using the July 15-coup attempt as an instrument to take over both the civil and military judiciary, the Erdogan regime has removed the majority of the military judges and prosecutors. It is claimed that the number of the military judges decreased to 209 from 468 since 15 July 2016 while many others have been still under judicial or administrative investigation. (3)