Turkish president fled scene minutes before soldiers in helicopters stormed resort hotel during failed coup attempt in July 2016

A Turkish court has handed down life sentences to dozens of people accused of attempting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in one of the highest-profile trials dealing with last year’s attempted military coup.

Nearly 50 defendants stood trial in Muğla, near where soldiers in helicopters stormed a resort hotel where Erdoğan was on holiday in July 2016, just minutes after the Turkish leader had fled. The suspects, who were accused of orchestrating the ambush, include the president’s former military aide and other senior officers.

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