Son of elderly inmate who died in prison sentenced on the same terrorism charges as father

A Turkish court has sentenced Mustafa Said Muğla, the son of Nusret Muğla, who died in prison last year at the age of 84, to seven and a half years for alleged links to the Gülen movement, the TR724 news website reported on Thursday.

Mustafa Said Muğla was detained along with 14 other people in October in Turkey’s western Manisa province for helping the families of people jailed over alleged links to the movement, a faith-based group accused by the government of “terrorist” activities.

His father was arrested in October 2016 for alleged membership in the Gülen movement and underwent an angiogram during his time in prison. He was released for health reasons seven months later but was subsequently sentenced to more than six years in prison. He passed away in February 2022 after contracting COVID-19 in prison.

Nusret Muğla was incarcerated despite suffering from multiple health problems including heart and kidney disease and prostate cancer. Muğla needed frequent medical attention and was kept in a quarantine cell for long periods of time.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, 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 July 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on July 5, 2022, a total of 332,884 people have been detained, while around 101,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup. The minister said there were 19,252 people in Turkey’s prisons at the time who were jailed on alleged links to the movement, while 24,000 others were at large.

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