ANKARA (Dispatches) – A total of 2,327 defendants have been handed life sentences in cases related to the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from judicial sources, following the July 15, 2016 defeated coup chief public prosecutors carried out over 100,000 investigations.
Out of 289 cases, 270 of them completed, a total of 3,838 defendants were convicted.
The Turkish courts ordered aggravated life sentences for 1,224 convicts.
Among them were 71 former generals, 829 former officers, 173 former sergeants, 50 former specialized sergeants and four former police officers.
Separately, 1,511 convicts were handed jail terms ranging from 14 months to 20 years, while some defenders were acquitted in nationwide cases.
The remaining cases continue in the capital Ankara, Istanbul, and seven other provinces.
An unspecified number of defendants were also acquitted of their accusations in nationwide cases.
During the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
Ankara has since accused U.S.-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army, police and the judiciary.
Gulen has denounced the "despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
"Accusations against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated slanders,” he said in a statement.
The 78-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its "witch hunt” of his followers, a move he says is aimed at "weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to President Erdogan and his regime.”
Turkish officials have frequently called on their U.S. counterparts to extradite Gulen, but their demands have not been taken heed of.
Turkey ended the nationwide state of emergency, imposed since the coup, in July last year, after seven three-month renewals.
Tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having links to Gulen and the failed coup. Many more, including military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended from work over the same accusations.