Ankara court orders arrest of former Deputy PM Arınç’s son-in-law over alleged Gülen links

Ekrem Yeter, son-in-law of Turkey's former Deputy PM Bülent Arın.

An Ankara court on Monday ordered the arrest of academic Ekrem Yeter, the former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç’s son-in-law after he was detained as a part of Turkish government’s ongoing post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

It was reported that Ekrem Yeter was detained at his residence and later referred to the prosecutor’s office to testify.
Later he was transferred to a court and the court has arrested him on charges of “being a member of terror organization.”

Yeter was among thousands of people either suspended or dismissed from their duties as a part of decree laws issued under the state of emergency declared in the wake of the failed coup attempt. He had been working as an associate professor in the cardiology department of the Yıldırım Beyazıt University’s Medicine Faculty but was dismissed from his post in line with a decree law issued on Sept. 2, 2016.

Earlier, the son-in-law of İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, was arrested as a part of an operation against the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), which was affiliated with the Gülen movement, before he was released by the İstanbul Fifth Criminal Court of Peace on May 4. He was released pending trial on the grounds that prison conditions were having a negative effect on his health, after he was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2005.

A military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt. Law enforcement have  also caught hundreds of people attempting to illegally leave Turkey to neighboring countries so far. Not satisfied with dismissals, Turkish government cancelled passports of thousands of people while putting travel ban on many others.

June 5, 2017

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