A former court clerk who was earlier dismissed over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, O.G. was sentenced to 6 years plus 3 months in prison on accusation of membership to the movement. Among the evidences for his conviction were a deleted picture of Maqluba dish and photos of Fethullah Gülen allegedly recovered from his phone.
The investigation launched against O.G. claimed that O.G. was a user of ByLock, a smartphone messaging app that authorities believe to be the top communication tool among the alleged Gülen followers. Hundreds of people including Taner Kılıç, the chairman of the Amnesty International in Turkey was detained for allegedly using this messaging application.
O.G. denied the accusation while on trial before a Gaziantep court. Meanwhile, the judges overseeing the case ruled by accepting the pictures of Maqluba dish and of Fethullah Gülen were found at the “deleted data section” on his cell phone as evidence, and sentenced him to 6 years and 3 months in jail on charge of membership to a terrorist organization.
Maqluba is a traditional Arab dish, allegedly favorited by Gülen movement sympathizers in Turkey.
Turkey survived a controversial 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 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.
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. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) July 26, 2017