Kenan Evren (94), the former chief of General Staff who led the 1980 coup and former Turkish president from 1982 to 1989, and Tahsin Şahinkaya (87), former commander of the Turkish Air Force during the coup period, sent medical reports to the court though their lawyers. The reports stated that their health is not sufficiently stable enough to allow them to attend the upcoming hearing.
After receiving the reports, the court requested the ATK conduct its own examination, which confirmed the previous medical reports. In addition, prosecutors investigating the coup case have requested that the court question the former generals via video-conference instead.
The court has also accepted requests from the families of coup victims to be granted co-plaintiff status in the case. The victims in question are Erdal Eren, Serdar Soyergin, Necati Vardar, Veysel Güney, Ramazan Yukarıgöz, Mustafa Özenç, Cengiz Baktemur, Ömer Yazgan and Halil Esendağ.
Both Evren and Şahinkaya are receiving treatment at the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA). Şahinkaya has been receiving treatment for Parkinson's disease at GATA since 2000, while Evren has been a patient at GATA since 2009.The indictment, which came after a year-long investigation, was submitted to the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court in January and seeks life imprisonment for both Evren and Şahinkaya.
The Sept. 12, 1980 military coup was the bloodiest and most wide-reaching in the history of Turkey. A total of 650,000 people were detained and police kept files on 1,683,000 people. A total of 230,000 people were tried in 210,000 cases, mostly for political reasons. A further 517 people were sentenced to death, while 7,000 people faced charges that carried a possible death sentence. Of those who received the death penalty, 50 were executed and another 299 people died while in police custody as a result of unsanitary living conditions and torture.