On Monday, Turkish prosecutors charged 47 suspects, most of whom were soldiers, with a range of crimes relating to a failed coup attempt last July.  Among the charges levied were attempting to assassinate the president, breaching the constitution and belonging to an armed terrorist organization.  Prosecutors have requested life in prison for 40 of the suspects.

The trial is being held in a Chamber of Commerce building adjacent to the courthouse in Mugla due to the large number of suspects on trial, and court proceedings are expected to continue throughout the year, with the president himself serving as co-plaintiff.

“They arrived at the scene with the intention of killing the president,” Huseyin Aydın, President Erdogan’s attorney, said. “For the first time in our history, it is discussed that a commander-in-chief, a president, was subject to an assassination attempt by Turkish Army members.”

Members of the accused have contested that statement, suggesting instead that their intent was to capture the president and relocate him to a nearby, rebel-held air force installation.