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First Trial of Alleged Coup Plotters Opens In Turkey 

A Turkish soldier stands guard next to the courthouse where the trial of alleged coup plotters is taking place in Istanbul.

The first trial of alleged plotters in Turkey’s July failed coup attempt has started in Istanbul with 29 police officers facing sentences of up to life in prison.

The officers face a range of charges, including attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, and membership of a terrorist organization.

Prosecutors are seeking life sentences for 21 of the policemen and sentences of between 7-1/2 to 15 years for the other eight, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.

More than 40,000 suspects have been detained in relation to the July 15 coup attempt that led to some 270 deaths.

Tens of thousands have been fired or suspended from their jobs.

The Turkish government accuses U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the coup.

Gulen has denied any involvement in the plot.

Based on reporting by Reuters and DPA