486 people appear in court over Turkey coup plot

213 PKK suspects detained in anti-terror operations last week

Turkish authorities detained 1,098 people over the last week for suspected links to militant groups or last year's failed coup attempt, the interior ministry said on Monday.

Families of those killed or wounded during the coup attempt protested outside the courthouse, some throwing ropes toward the defendants demanding that the death penalty be reinstated and that they be hanged.

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Two weeks ago, more than 7,563 people including police, civil servants and academics were dismissed in Turkey after the government issued a new decree under the ongoing state of emergency imposed after last year's failed coup. Gulen is being tried in absentia, and denies any role in the coup attempt.

US -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.

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Orders were allegedly sent out from Akinci air base, north-west of Ankara, to bomb parliament as troops attempted to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Charged with crimes ranging from murder, violating the constitution and attempting to kill Erdogan, a total of 486 suspects will go on trial in a purpose-built courtroom outside the capital Ankara, Tuesday.

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Critics say Mr Erdogan is using the purge that followed the coup to stifle political dissent. Turkey's military chief Hulusi Akar and other commanders were held captive for several hours at the base on the night of the coup.

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