Jailed police chief Anadolu Atayün’s wife also jailed by Turkish government

Turkish government has jailed Birsen Atayün, the wife of jailed police chief Anadolu Atayün, on Monday, just days after her 15-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter were detained by police. A Turkish court in Muğla province has decided to jail Birsen Atayün and M.A., a doctor who was dismissed by a government decree, as his son B.S.A and M.A.’s wife were released with condition of judicial probation.

Turkish government had detained Birsen Atayün and his son in Fethiye district of Muğla province on Saturday. According to pro-government news sources, Birsen Atayün was detained by police as she was allegedly trying to flee from Turkey to Greek island Rodos together with his son, a dismissed doctor and his wife.

The doctor who used to work in Bursa province was reportedly dismissed by a government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

It was also alleged that Birsen Atayün has ByLock messaging application in her mobile phone.

Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a member of the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The mobile phone application ByLock is seen as the top communication tool among members of the group. Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the controversial coup attempt.

Two children of Anadolu Atayün, a former legendary police chief who was jailed in wake of the corruption and bribery scandals on December 17-25, 2013 which had exposed Turkey’s then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his family members and cabinet ministers, were also detained by police in Konya province on August 17.

According to a report bt Aktif Haber online news portal, Atayün’s 15-year-old son Harun and 17-year-old daughter Yasemin were detained and handcuffed following a police raid targeting Atayün Family’s house in Konya. It was reported that as Yasemin Atayün has been kept under police custody in a detention center, Harun Atayün was released after he gave his testimony.

Former police chief Atayün’s brother Yurt Atayün, who was also a very prominent police chief, was jailed by Erdoğan’s regime in wake of December 17-25, 2013 massive graft scandal of Erdoğan and his close circles with the involvement of Iranian corrupt businessman Reza Zarrab who is currently in a jail in the US.

This is not the first time that the children of former police chiefs who were jailed following they took part in corruption and bribery operations involved by Erdoğan, his cabinet members, his relatives and top buraucrats, were detained. Jailed police chief Ali Fuat Yılmazer’s two daughters, Fatma Saadet Yılmazer and Rabia Fitnat Yılmazer, were also detained on March 16, 2017 and later they were arrested by a court and sent to prison. Two sisters are still in prison.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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