Leader of Gulenists to face over 30 years prison term

Turkish prosecution demands between 19-34 years prison term for self-exiled leader of Gulen Movement on several charges

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

A file photo of Gulen Movement leader, Fethullah Gulen.

Prosecution asks self-exiled leader of Gulen Movement, Fethullah Gulen to face 19 to 34 years jail time on combined charges of “founding and managing an armed organization, forgery in official documents and slander” after the completion of Turkey’s Tahsiye probe.

The Tahsiye probe was initially launched over the same charges on Dec. 14 when the Istanbul Police Department Counterterrorism Unit detained 31 suspects in media and police force as part of an investigation to determine the plotters against the “Tahsiye” group as the suspects were accused of “conspiracy” against the group.

The indictment asks 15 to 22.5 years in prison for “founding and managing an armed organization,” three to 7.5 years for “forgery in official documents,” and one to four years for “slender” charges.

On Jan. 22 of 2010, in an operation against the Tahsiye group, its leader Mehmet Dogan and 122 people were arrested. Dogan was sentenced to jail for 17 months. Dogan is known to have strong objections to some ideas and religious interpretations of Gulen.

Both the Tahsiye Group and the Gulen Movement led by Gulen are offshoots of the Nur Movement, which follows the teachings of early 20th century Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, although the two groups are not affiliated with each other.

In the aftermath of the first operation on Dec.14 , four suspects including the head of the Gulen-affiliated Samanyolu Media Group Hidayet Karaca were sent to jail while an arrest order was issued for Gulen. Five more suspects including the former Istanbul Police Department Counterterrorism Unit Chief Yurt Atayun and Istanbul Police Department Intelligence Unit Chief Ali Fuat Yilmazer were also arrested in the case.

The number of arrests in the Tahsiye probe is currently 15 among 33 suspects, and the prosecution asks 11.5 to 26 years for suspects on similar charges.

TRTWorld and agencies