Forty Istanbul University academics, who have been accused of terrorism over alleged links to Gülen movement, appeared in an İstanbul court on Tuesday.
Ten out of 33 academics, who are alleged to have been members of the “FETO”, a derogatory acronym used by AKP government to label a faith-based pacifist social movement inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, were remanded in custody and the others were released pending trial.
According to an indictment prepared by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Mehmet Şenay Baygın which was submitted to the İstanbul’s 14th High Criminal Court, 40 members of the İstanbul University were allegedly affiliated with the Gülen movement, including Prof. Dr. Fatih Gürsul, a former advisor to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). Prof. Dr. Gürsul was arrested last month over alleged Gülen links.
According to official sources, seven academics who were targeted in the politically motivated indictment remained at large. The prosecution has demanded up to 15 years of imprisonment for accused İstanbul University academics including numbers of professors and lecturers.
Meanwhile, at least 15 academics from Denizli-based Pamukkale University detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement. Detention warrants were issued for 22 academics and university personnel however police could reach out only to 15 academics including professors at the medical faculty.
According to the data which has been collected by tukeypurge.com and web portal Freedom for Turkish Academics so far, shows 6.986 scholars have been purged from Turkish universities with several decrees issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP government in wake of July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Turkey has survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Erdoğan passed a decree ordering the closure of 15 universities and 800 student dormitories across Turkey. The shutting down of the universities has left 61,382 students in academic limbo.
The same decree and the following ones also ordered the dismissal of thousands of academics working at 108 Turkish universities. Hundreds of these academicians are currently under arrest behind the bars.