Opposition party politician re-arrested hours after release

After a Turkish court on Thursday ordered the release pending trial of Metin Gürcan, a prominent defense analyst and opposition party co-founder, the politician was arrested again the same day, Turkish Minute reported.

Gürcan, one of the co-founders of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), had been behind bars since Nov. 9, 2021 on charges of “political and military espionage.”

Turkish prosecutors accuse him of sharing classified information with foreign diplomats.

The 46-year-old walked free from an Ankara prison early on Thursday due to a decision by the Ankara 26th High Criminal Court and was rearrested hours later after an objection filed by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was accepted by the Ankara 27th High Criminal Court, which ruled for his re-arrest.

Last year Gürcan criticized the government’s agreements with the United Arab Emirates, arguing that Turkey would be forced to make concessions in return for investment pledged by the UAE.

In a statement following Gürcan’s release, lawyer Yusuf Şahin said the Presidency of the Defense Industry (SSB) and the Interior Ministry submitted opinions regarding the accusations against the politician, stating that the information and documents allegedly shared by Gürcan were not confidential to the state, that they had been shared many times in the media and on the Internet in the past and that therefore sharing them did not constitute a crime.

The third hearing of Gürcan’s trial will be held on Oct. 4, according to local media reports.

Gürcan joined Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister in President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, in founding DEVA in March of 2020.

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