Private school managers sentenced in Turkey to 7.5 years in jail over coup charges

File photo.

Nine people who used to work at dormitories and schools closed by the government over coup charges and alleged ties to the Gülen movement in Kayseri were sentenced to jail terms of between 3 years and 9 months to 7 and a half years.

According to state-run Anadolu news agency, the suspects identified with initials A.Ç, H.A, O.K, S.C and T.S received jail sentence of 6 years and 3 months each; N.G. and S.Y. 7 years and 6 months each; M.D. 6 years and 3 months; and M.M.D. 3 years and 9 months. The defendants are accused of membership to the Gülen movement, which the government pinned the blame on for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Meanwhile, another 8 teachers were put in pre-trial arrest as part of a separate investigation into the Gülen movement in Denizli province on Friday.

Turkey survived a failed military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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.

According to a statement from Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on May 6, 149,833 people have been investigated and 48,636 have been jailed as part of an investigation targeting the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. (SCF with May 13, 2017


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