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Turkey: Seven Gulenists indicted on terrorism charges

Chief prosecutor points to 'concrete evidence' that 'terrorist group' is working to seize control of government.

09.04.2015
Turkey: Seven Gulenists indicted on terrorism charges

ANKARA

An Ankara court has accepted the chief prosecutor's indictment accusing seven people of belonging to a group that is attempting to overthrow the Turkish government.

The suspects, four of them police officers, are charged with being members of the Gulen movement, on which the indictment -- accepted on Thursday -- brings terrorism charges.

The chief prosecutor accused them of forming a "parallel state" and working secretively to gain control of the government.

The suspects are also charged with working to prevent the organization from being uprooted from state institutions.

The chief prosecutor said there is "concrete evidence" to the existence and motivations of a "Fetullahci (Gulenist) terror organization."

The Turkish government accuses the Gulen movement, led by U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fetullah Gulen, of working to overthrow the government by infiltrating state institutions, mainly the police and the judiciary.

Gulen supporters are accused by the government of engaging in long-term eavesdropping on high-ranking government officials and mounting a coup d'etat attempt through a graft investigation in December 2013 that targeted cabinet members.

Armed organization

The suspects are accused of transferring documents, data and property -- belonging to Ankara police’s anti-organized crime branch -- to criminal groups.

The indictment names the suspects as Seyyit Aksit, Cihan Tumbul, Durak Yigit, Omer Aydin, Kadir Inan, Ibrahim Simsek and Nebil Ark.

Officers Aksit, Tumbul, Aydin and Simsek are charged with stealing a police car that contained police equipment, as well as obtaining and distributing police personnel information and data, including radio transmitter passwords.

The officers reportedly sold the car to Inan, who was to pay Aksit 20,000 Turkish lira ($7,700) in return.

Aksit also reportedly entertained requests -- in exchange for 70,000 lira ($27,000) -- to delete recordings of legal wiretapping against criminal organizations.

Aksit “served an organization within the police department which acted like a parallel state able to reach any and all kinds of secret information and using such methods as blackmail, threats and unfair removals from office,” the indictment said.

Ark is accused of forming an armed terrorist organization, while the other suspects, except Inan, are accused of being members.

The court has yet to announce hearing dates.

 

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