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Turkey sentences 1980 coup leaders to life in prison

A Septenber 4, 2010 picture shows Turkey's former Army Commander General Kenan Evren, one of the leaders of the 1980 Turkish coup, sitting in his home in AnkaraA Turkish court on Wednesday handed life sentences to two ageing generals behind a 1980 military takeover, the bloodiest in Turkey’s coup-ridden history. Kenan Evren, 96, and Tahsin Sahinkaya, 89, were found guilty of setting the stage for a military intervention, ousting the civilian government by force and committing acts against the forces of the state. Prosecutors had demanded so-called aggravated life sentences for Evren, who became president after the coup, and Sahinkaya, the former air force commander — which would have placed harsher conditions on their detention. Evren and Sahinkaya, who are being treated at military hospitals in Ankara and Istanbul respectively, appeared via video screens for Wednesday’s hearing.

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