The trial of almost 50 suspects accused of plotting to assassinate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened today (Monday) in Mugla, Turkey. The attempt occurred during the failed coup in July 2016 that was carried out mainly by soldiers and several high-ranking officers.

Turkish President Erdogan

Turkish President Erdogan Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Nearly 50 Turkish citizens, most of whom are former soldiers, were tried today (Monday) in Mugla, Turkey, for the assassination plot against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Many of the defendants are facing life sentences on charges that include attempted assassination, overthrow of constitutional order as well as various crimes against the government during the attempted coup in July 2016.

The trial was held at a temporary courthouse that could hold the large-scale case. The courthouse is near the resort where the soldiers tried to assassinate Erdogan. The Turkish President was staying there with his family this past summer prior to the attack.

According to a report by Reuters, several suspects were high-level officials in the Turkish military including officers up to the rank of brigadier general. Turkey claims that the coup was initiated by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who currently lives in Pennsylvania, United States. However, he has denied the claim.

More than 240 people were killed in the failed coup when the group of soldiers took control of tanks, warplanes and helicopters, attacked the parliament building and attempted to overthrow the government. The trail was reportedly heavily guarded with overhead sniper posts surrounding the building.