Turkish prosecutors submit opinion on top terror probe

By Muhammed Enes Can, Murat Kaya and Basak Akbulut Yazar

ISTANBUL (AA) – The prosecution of a court case involving a reported conspiracy to overthrow Turkey’s government dating back a decade has said the existence of the organization in question could not be conclusively proven, according to judicial sources on Friday.

"It has been found that the leadership, membership and criminal activity could not be established of the organization, as well as its existence," the prosecutors said of the "armed terrorist organization Ergenekon", submitting its official opinion on the case.

"There is no concrete evidence of the presence of an Ergenekon terrorist organization, and thus a non-existent terrorist organization can neither have managers, members, or supporters, nor it is possible to commit crimes for it," said the prosecution.

Prosecutors asked for jail terms for 28 suspects in the Istanbul court, while recommending charges be dropped for 199 others.

Among the 28, four had received aggravated life sentences for the killing of a judge and wounding four others in a 2006 armed attack at Turkey's top administrative court.

The original Ergenekon conspiracy probe, dating to 2007, led to trials in 2013 of military officers, politicians, academics, and journalists, but later the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned hundreds of convictions in the case.

Last year, Turkish authorities said the 2013 Ergenekon trial was based on fabricated evidence, and blamed the prosecutions on Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) member soldiers trying to purge the military of rival officers.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 251 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.

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