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A court in Silivri, close to Istanbul, has sentenced 19 people, including a former chief of general staff Mehmet İlker Başbuğ and journalist Tuncay Özkan, to life in prison for their role in the Ergenekon affair — which, according to Turkish authorities, was a nationalist plot in the 2000s that aimed to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Islamic-conservative government through a series of bomb attacks and propaganda operations.

In what Hürriyet termed “one of the most important trials in the history of Turkey,” the court also issued sentences of 12 to 35 years in prison to three MPs from the opposition Republican People’s Party. Dozens of other sentences along with 21 acquittals were announced for the 275 defendants in the case.

The newspaper calls for “cool heads and respect for the rule of law,” in the wake of protests outside Silivri prison. Although it defends the legitimacy of the trials, which were “approved by the European Court of Human Rights in December 2011,” the daily expresses doubts about the evidence against several defendants, which was not sufficiently detailed.