Twenty-nine police officers are being tried in Istanbul’s 22nd High Penal Court on a range of charges connected to July’s deadly coup plot.

Among the 29 officers, 25 were remanded in custody for disobeying orders -- especially President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- to resist the coup attempt. They are also accused of attempting to persuade their colleagues and citizens not to join the anti-coup resistance.

According to the indictment, 21 defendants face three possible sentences of aggravated lifetime imprisonment. The eight remaining officers face a prison sentence ranging from nearly eight years to 15 years.

Turkey’s government says Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) leader Fetullah Gulen masterminded the defeated July 15 coup, which left 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara has also said FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Arrests

Police on Tuesday arrested seven Turkish military personnel as part of a probe into the coup, a judicial official said.

Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office ordered the detention of 45 employees of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) for allegedly using the ByLock messaging app said to be linked to the July 15 coup attempt.

The seven were arrested in Istanbul, Hatay and Kocaeli provinces.

A search for the remaining suspects continues.

ByLock is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the coup, prompting the plotters to switch to the WhatsApp messaging service but not before tens of thousands of FETO suspects had been identified.

In the wake of the coup attempt, tens of thousands FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, judiciary and the education sector.

Anadolu Agency