An Ankara court on Tuesday began the trial of 486 key suspects accused of taking part in last year's coup attempt, which martyred 250 people.
On July 13, the country's Interior Ministry announced that a total of 50,510 people had been arrested and 169,013 had been subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which left over 240 people killed and some 2,000 others wounded.
After the coup attempt, Turkey declared a state of emergency that is still in effect and launched a massive crackdown against suspected Gulen followers, which soon spread to all opposition circles against the Turkish government.
In the aftermath of their botched attempt, thousands of people have been arrested, many suspected of having links to Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in the US.
Numerous 486 suspects face life terms in prison for crimes that include violating the constitution, attempted assassination of the president, trying to abolish the republic and seizing military headquarters.More news: No life sentences without parole for juveniles in Alaska
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Most of the suspects are former military personnel at the Akinci Air Base, which was used as the command center by plotters during the foiled coup. They were handcuffed, with two paramilitary police officers on each arm, and protected by armed special force officers. Turkey's military chief Gen. Hulusi Akar and other commanders were held captive for several hours at the base on the night of the coup.
One group of protesters tried to climb over a barbed wire fence screaming "Let the traitors hang!" and "We want the death penalty!" but were blocked by police.
A total of 461 defendants are behind bars while 18 were freed pending the outcome of the trial.
Photos from outside the court today showed a long line of defendants led into the courtroom with security forces clad in green berets and red vests gripping each of their arms.
He remains in the United States under self-imposed exile in a secluded compound in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, and strongly denies the charges against him. Prosecutors say the base was a headquarters for pro-coup soldiers.