Former Turkish general on trial for 1980 coup

ANKARA - Retired Turkish General Kenan Evren, symbol of an era when the military dominated Turkish politics, goes on trial on Wednesday for his role leading a 1980 coup that shaped the country for three decades until reforms cut back the power of the "Pashas".
Fifty people were executed, half a million arrested, hundreds died in jail, and many more disappeared in three years of military rule following the Sept. 12, 1980 coup, Turkey's third in 20 years.
More than 30 years later, an Ankara court will begin hearing the case against 94-year-old Evren, who went on to serve as president, as well as against the other surviving architect of that military takeover, former air force commander Tahsin Sahinkaya, 87.
With the silver-haired Evren now frail, it is unlikely he will appear in court. The prosecutor's office has said it could hear the testimonies of Evren and Sahinkaya via video link. Evren recently underwent intestinal surgery and Turkish media reported on Tuesday that he had also broken an arm.
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