Turkish court releases İstanbul’s former Police Chief Çapkın from prison

An İstanbul court ordered the release of İstanbul’s former police chief Hüseyin Çapkın in probe over his alleged links to the Gülen movement on Tuesday. The court ordered Çapkın’s house arrest and release while former İstanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu is still under arrest.

Along with Çapkın, three other suspects were also released in the same hearing in which 15 suspects were tried at the İstanbul’s 30th High Criminal Court. While the court head declared to have voted against the ruling for Çapkın’s house arrest, Mutlu’s release request was denied.

Meanwhile, Yalova High Criminal Court on Tuesday decided to release Niyazi Eruslu, the former rector of Yalova University who was imprisoned over his alleged links to the Gülen movement. According to the ruling, Eruslu was prohibited from leaving Turkey. The court also denied the release of Mehmet Güler, the former executive assistant of Eruslu, as part of the same investigation.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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 Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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