A Turkish court has sentenced the two surviving leaders of the country's 1980 military coup to life in prison.

The court in Ankara on Wednesday found 97-year-old Kenan Evren and 89-year-old Tahsin Sahinkaya guilty of crimes against the state.

The military takeover stopped deadly fighting between political extremists but also led to a wave of executions, torture and disappearances.

The two men have been on trial since 2012 for leading the coup. Neither attended the trials because of ill-health and gave testimony to the court through a video conference system from their hospital beds.