A Turkish court on Oct. 30 handed down various prison terms ranging from one year to life imprisonment to 27 suspects over their suspected involvement in the stopping of Syria-bound trucks in January 2014, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The suspects received sentences based on charges of “attempting to abolish the Constitutional order,” “managing a terrorist organization,” “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “revealing state secrets.”
Trucks belonging to Turkey's intelligence agency MİT were searched in the southern provinces of Adana and Hatay in raids by police and gendarmerie in January 2014, upon the orders of prosecutors acting on tip-offs that the trucks were carrying weapons to Syria.
The incident received widespread coverage on media when daily Cumhuriyet released a footage in May 2015 showing the stopping of the trucks. The footage showed gendarmerie and police officers opening crates on the back of the trucks which contain what Cumhuriyet described as weapons and ammunition.
The government said that the raids on the trucks were carried out on the orders of supporters of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Ankara accuses of masterminding the failed coup attempt of July 2016. Ankara admitted that trucks belonged to MİT but said that they were only carrying “humanitarian aid” to Turkmens in Syria.
Cumhuriyet said their footage had been taken by local security officials. The incident also led to the prosecution of Cumhuriyet journalists, including the then editor-in-chief Can Dündar and the daily’s Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül.
During the final hearing of the case on Oct. 30, former gendarmerie colonel Ömer was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment whereas denouncer Mustafa İlhan was sentenced to 30.5 years in prison.
The court ordered the already jailed 12 suspects to remain in prison to serve their time and issued an arrest warrant for nine other suspects who were standing trial without arrest.