Seven lawyers out of 15 detained in Ankara for links with Gülen


Prosecutors in the Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for 36 people in two separate investigations, leading to the detention of 15 people, including seven lawyers, over their alleged links to the sectarian movement Gülen, Turkish Minute reported.

The arrest warrants were issued on the basis of recordings of their telephone conversations or witness statements. Among those detained or threatened with detention are former students of the police academy and former civil servants.

The suspects are accused of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app considered by Turkey to be a secret tool for communication between supporters of the Gülen movement, and gaining access to questions from a state staff exam (KPSS) organized in 2013.

Following an abortive putsch in July 2016, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup struggle. More than 130,000 civil servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces have been summarily dismissed from their posts for membership or alleged relations with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree laws that do not subject to any judicial or parliamentary control.

According to a statement by Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ in July, 117,208 people have been sentenced, including 1,366 to life in prison and 1,634 to aggravated life without the possibility of parole following the attempted coup. ‘State. While 87,519 people have been acquitted of charges specifically related to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to Bozdağ, there are doubts as to how many people have been acquitted of all charges by a court.

Judicial experts express skepticism over the figures announced by the minister, saying that 117,208 convictions are only those that have been upheld by an appeal court, since Ministry of Justice data shows that more than 265,000 people have been convicted of membership in a terrorist organization between 2016 and 2020 due to their alleged links to Gülen.

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