Turkey

Trustees appointed to Turkish Gulen-linked media firm

Court says FIA broadcasting firm set up to support terrorism

23.03.2016
Trustees appointed to Turkish Gulen-linked media firm

Ankara

ISTANBUL

A board of trustees has been appointed to run a Turkish broadcasting company and publishing houses over “strong evidence” of support for the Gulen movement.

The trustees were appointed to run FIA by a court in Istanbul. The central allegation against the company, and the publishing branches of Feza Publications in Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Trabzon is that they support the movement of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey.

In court papers, FIA was allegedly set up by the staff of Feza Publications, a media conglomerate closely associated with Gulen. Earlier this month, Feza, which had published Turkish daily newspaper Zaman as well as running the Cihan News Agency, was taken over by court-appointed trustees.

It is alleged that broadcasting equipment has been transferred from Cihan to FIA without payment and that the equipment would be used to support Gulen’s movement, which is referred to as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization or the “parallel state”.

The court also says the ownership of publishing houses across Turkey that had previoulsy belonged to Feza had been repeatedly transferred to prevent their assets falling into the hands of trustees.

Turkey says Gulen has been plotting to overthrow the government by infiltrating supporters into state institutions, particularly the judiciary and police. The movement runs a network of schools and businesses that the government says has allowed his supporters to infiltrate state organs.

Investigations into the parallel state since 2014 have seen hundreds of civil servants, including police and public prosecutors, arrested or reassigned.

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