No more 'Heroes' as Turkish coup suspects get court uniforms

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the re-opening of the Ottoman-era Yildiz Hamidiye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

ANKARA (Reuters) - Terrorist or coup suspects in Turkish courts will be made to wear special uniforms when they appear in court, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday after a defendant showed up for trial last month with a T-shirt that said “Hero” on it.

Erdogan, who said last month that suspects in the failed 2016 military coup should be given jumpsuits like those worn by detainees at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo, said on Saturday that the new regulation clothing would be a dark almond color.

“No more coming dressed as they will,” Erdogan said in a speech in the eastern town of Malatya on Saturday.

Defendants accused of being involved in the failed military coup would wear jumpsuits, while terrorism suspects would wear jackets and trousers, Erdogan said.

“They will be introduced to the world like that. Now they will show off this way,” he said.

Since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt more than 50,000 people have been detained and 150,000 people suspended in a crackdown which has drawn criticism from some Western allies. Turkey says it is a justified response to the threat the country faces.

The “Hero” T-shirt worn by a defendant in a trial of coup suspects three weeks ago led to a heated argument inside the courtroom and the judge briefly suspended the hearing.

Several people were detained by police across the country in the following days for wearing the same T-shirts, Turkish media reported.

Reporting by Dirimcan Burat, Writing by Dominic Evans, Editing by Angus MacSwan