A public prosecutor overseeing the investigation into the bloody Sept. 12, 1980 coup d'état has asked the court hearing the case to hand down life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the leaders of the coup, Gen. Kenan Evren and Gen. Tahsin Sahinkaya Today`s Zaman reproted.
The prosecutor announced his legal opinion in the case at the latest hearing at the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court on Friday.
Turkey witnessed its bloodiest coup d'état in 1980 when Evren, a former chief of General Staff and later president, and his cohorts overthrew a democratically elected government. Over 1,000 criminal complaints have now been filed against the coup leaders after a referendum last year enabled such a course of action. The complaints mainly target Evren. Sahinkaya was the commander of the Air Forces at the time.
The Sept. 12, 1980 military coup was the best-planned in the history of Turkey. A total of 650,000 people were detained during this period and records were kept on 1,683,000 people and kept on file at police stations. A total of 230,000 people were tried in 210,000 cases, mostly for political reasons. A further 517 people were sentenced to death, while 7,000 people faced charges that carried a sentence of capital punishment. Of those who received the death penalty, 50 were executed. As a result of unsanitary and inhumane living conditions and torture in prisons, a further 299 people died while in custody.
Evren is now 95 and Şahinkaya 87 years old.