The 14th High Criminal Court in capital Ankara handed down aggravated life sentences to 18 Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) convicts for their roles in the murder of Turkish officer Omer Halisdemir during the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, according to a judicial source said on Thursday.
The convicts were sentenced on charges of intentional killing and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, the source, who asked not be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said.
Later, sentences of 13 convicts were reduced to life terms from aggravated life terms through discretionary mitigation, the source added.
Omer Halisdemir — who was martyred during the coup attempt night after he shot dead a senior coup plotter — became a symbol of the Turkish nation's resistance against the defeated coup.
Halisdemir shot pro-coup Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi in the head after the latter attempted to seize control of the Special Forces Command in capital Ankara. Pro-coup soldiers later martyred Halisdemir.
According to the government, FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.