75 academics face 15 years in jail each for depositing money into Bank Asya

The prosecutor has listed the academics’ transactions with Bank Asya among evidence of his terror charge.

An indictment prepared against 77 academics from the Bolu-based Abant İzzet Baysal University (AIBU) has sought up to 15 years in prison sentence for each of 75 academics and up to 22 years for the remaining two.

The 72-page indictment accuses M.Y. and K.G. of leading a “terrorist organization”, a crime in the Turkish law that carries a potential penalty of a prison term of between 15-22 years. Seventy-five academics including a former AIBU rector face between 7,5 years and 15 years in jail with charge of membership to a terrorist organization.

The prosecutor has listed the academics’ previous transactions with Bank Asya, an Islamic lender Turkish government closed as part of its crackdown against the Gülen movement, among evidence for his terror charge.

The accused academics have withdrawn some TL 2 million from other banks to deposit into Bank Asya since late 2013 when the latter was struggling in the face of a prolonged government pressure, the indictment claimed. The prosecutor also underscored that some academics transferred money from spouses’ accounts to another account in Bank Asya so that they could benefit from state insurance in case the bank faces closure for some reason.

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) guarantees, under Turkish laws, up to TL 100,000 in bank accounts to be returned to account holders if banks fail.

Meanwhile, at least 5 people were detained in the western province of Kütahya as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt, on Monday. The detainees also included S.B., a Turkmenistan citizen studying at Dumlupinar University. Detention warrants were issued for two more people in the same investigation.

On the other hand, 23 people were detained in the province of Mersin, in another investigation on Monday.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen. Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch.

Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt in 2016. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) April 10, 2017

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