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Ergenekon Verdicts Mark Milestone for Turkish Democracy

With the Ergenekon verdicts, Turkey is taking a very critical step on the path to true democracy.
An unidentified defendant waves out of a van as he's driven to a courthouse in Silivri, where a hearing for people charged with attempting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government is due to take place, August 5, 2013. A Turkish court on Monday began sentencing nearly 300 defendants accused of plotting to overthrow the government, handing prison sentences of up to 20 years to some and acquitting 21 others. The court was announcing the verdicts individually. Verdicts on high-pro
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The first phase of the Ergenekon trials, which began almost five years ago, ended yesterday, Aug. 5, without too many surprises. There were 254 sentences, 17 of them for life imprisonment, and 21 acquittals.

There are many senior military officers in the long list of convictions. Arguably, the most important verdict was finding a former chief of general staff guilty of a coup attempt and sentencing him to life imprisonment.

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