Hundreds go on trial over failed Turkey coup

Nearly 500 suspects including military generals and pilots went on trial in Turkey on Tuesday, many of them accused of commanding last year's failed coup attempt from an air base in the capital Ankara. VIDEO: REUTERS

SINCAN, TURKEY (REUTERS) - Top army generals and pilots among the nearly 500 suspects who went on trial Tuesday (Aug 1) in Turkey, accused of commanding last year's failed coup. 

Protesters outside calling for the return of the death penalty so the suspects can be hanged. Akin Ozturk is a former air force commander. 

He joins other defendants accused of directing the coup while stationed at an airbase northwest of the capital Ankara. Bombing government buildings and attempting to kill President Tayyip Erdogan. 

The main defendant in the case however will be tried in absentia. 

US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers are blamed for carrying out the failed coup, though Gulen denies any involvement. 

Many of the suspects face life terms in prison. This case one of many similar trials underway in Turkey. 

A government crackdown since the coup attempt has seen more than 50,000 arrested and 150,000 people dismissed from government jobs.