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Nearly 500 Suspects On Trial Over Turkey's Failed Coup

Soldiers who are charged with participating in the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey are accompanied by Turkish soldiers as they arrive at the court outside Ankara on August 1.

Almost 500 people accused of involvement in last year’s failed coup in Turkey have gone on trial.

The mass trial, which kicked off at a purpose-built courtroom outside Ankara on August 1, is the largest yet relating to last year's failed putsch against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Many of the 486 suspects face life terms in prison for crimes that include murder and attempt to assassinate Erdogan.

The case centers around the Akinci air base, northwest of the capital, which the government says the coup plotters used as their headquarters.

U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government accuses of orchestrating the coup, has been named as the main defendant in the case and will be tried in absentia. He rejects the charges and denies any involvement in the coup attempt.

The trial is one of dozens that are under way in Turkey in relation to the failed putsch that resulted in about 250 deaths in July 2016.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and dpa