Prosecutor overseeing coup investigations dismissed over alleged coup links

Prosecutor Tevfik Önen.

Tevfik Önen, a Mersin prosecutor who has launched several judicial investigations into the Gülen movement very recently, has been purged over his alleged ties to the movement, too, as Turkish government’s post-coup witch hunt against the group has gone off the track.

Önen was among 45 judges and prosecutors Turkey’s Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) dismissed from profession over alleged links to the movement, which the government accuses of being behind the July 15 coup attempt, last week.

With the recent dismissals, the number of judges and prosecutors purged since July 15 has gone up to 4,317. The government has further detained many of them after their dismissals.

Önen was also briefly detained before he was released on judicial control last week. He sought detention of many individuals as part of local investigations in Mersin’s Silifke district.

Meanwhile, an Ankara court ruled on the arrest of 5 executives from the two companies that used to provide food and construction materials to the government-closed education institutions affiliated with the Gülen movement. The arrestees are accused of aiding and abetting to a terrorist organization as the government pinned the blame for the July 15 coup attempt on the movement. Among the evidence the court justified its decision on are deposit receipts from Bank Asya, an Islamic lender the government closed as part of its crackdown against the movement.

A Batman court has also handed over an arrest verdict for 25 individuals from different backgrounds including teachers, small business owners, doctors, pharmacists, military personnel and NGO workers over coup charges. The suspects were accused of membership to the Gülen movement, which the government sees as a terrorist organization.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 which killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.  Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. (SCF with April 8, 2017

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