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221 go on trial over failed Turkish military coup

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Paramilitary police officers and commandos escort the alleged main ringleaders of last summer's failed military coup before their trial at a courthouse in the outskirts of Ankara (AP)

Paramilitary police officers and commandos escort the alleged main ringleaders of last summer's failed military coup before their trial at a courthouse in the outskirts of Ankara (AP)

The defendants face life sentences if convicted

The defendants face life sentences if convicted

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Paramilitary police officers and commandos escort the alleged main ringleaders of last summer's failed military coup before their trial at a courthouse in the outskirts of Ankara (AP)

The trial against the alleged instigators of last summer's failed military coup in Turkey has opened in the capital.

A total of 221 people, including 27 ex-generals, went on trial in a specially-built courthouse on Ankara's outskirts, accused of being behind the failed July 15 uprising. They face life imprisonment if convicted.

The suspects were forced to march along a lane to the courthouse, as pro-government protesters called for the death penalty to be reinstated.

The main defendants are General Akin Ozturk, a former air force commander, and other alleged members of the so-called Peace at Home Council - a group on whose behalf a coup declaration was read on state television.

Prosecutors said the coup was orchestrated by followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

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