Jailed former cadet hospitalized after fainting in prison

Nagihan Yavuz, a former cadet serving a life sentence in İstanbul, was hospitalized on Wednesday after fainting in her ward, the Kronos news website reported.

Yavuz’s collapse was due to emotional strain and stress, the report said.

She is one of the three female cadets from Turkey’s Air Force Academy who were arrested following a coup attempt in July 2016 and sentenced to life in prison on coup-related charges in May 2018.

Their sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals in July 2022.

The cadets have denied taking part in the coup attempt and said they were only acting on orders from their superiors, who told them there was a terrorist attack on the night of the attempted coup on July 15, 2016.

Dozens of other military cadets were also sentenced to life on coup charges. Some of them were released in 2022 after their sentences were overturned.

Human rights advocates claim that the trials of former cadets did not respect fair trial principles.

A YouTube documentary telling their stories premiered ahead of the sixth anniversary of the coup attempt last year, drawing more than 1 million viewers.

Immediately after the abortive putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the faith-based Gülen movement. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

Many have accused Erdoğan’s government of using the coup as a pretext to crack down on dissent and dismantle the rule of law.

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