ISTANBUL – Dozens of football fans are going on trial in Turkey accused of an attempted coup because they took part in last year's mass protests. The trial is seen as the latest example of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on dissent.
Thirty-five fans, including members of Carsi — a die-hard Besiktas fan group — face life in prison if convicted of charges of trying to "remove the government" through "violence and force." The trial opens on Tuesday.
Hundreds of soccer fans, including supporters of teams that are Besiktas' arch-rivals, have gathered outside the courthouse in Istanbul in a show of solidarity for the defendants.
Mass anti-government protests erupted across Turkey in June 2013, sparked by opposition to government's plans to redevelop Gezi Park adjacent to Istanbul's main Taksim square.