A Turkish court sentenced 16 academics from the prestigious İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ) to varying prison terms on Friday over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.
The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court held the final hearings in the trial targeting alleged supporters of the Gülen movement during a three-day session. Five out of 35 academics involved in the case were sentenced to six years, three months in prison, while eight academics were given 7,5 years in prison; another academic was given four years, two months; and two others were given three years, one month and 15 days.
All sixteen academics were convicted of membership in an alleged “terror group.” The trial for the remaining 19 academics will continue in a separate case, the court ruled.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.