İsmet Özçelik, incarcerated on conviction of links to the faith-based Gülen movement, was sentenced to 10 months extra imprisonment for making prayer beads out of olive pits, TR724 reported on Wednesday.
The new sentence was handed down six days prior to Özçelik’s eligibility for parole, his daughter said on social media.
Abducted in Malaysia and renditioned to Turkey by Turkish intelligence in 2017, Özçelik was sentenced to nine years, 11 months in prison on terrorism-related charges due to his involvement in the Gülen movement.
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) confirmed in its annual report that it had conducted operations for the forcible return of more than 100 people with alleged links to the group.
Similarly, imprisoned academic Sedat Laçiner was given a disciplinary sanction on the eve of his expected release last year, extending his imprisonment by four months. Laçiner was also convicted of Gülen links.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the 2013 corruption investigations, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.
Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch in 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.