Turkish court sentences 82-year-old Türk for 10 years over Gülen links, releases him from prison

82-year-old Mustafa Türk was detained by police on September 1, 2016 in Manisa province.

A Turkish court has sentenced 82-year-old Turkish man, who was in pre-trial detention for more than 15 months, in 10 years in prison over his alleged links to Gülen movement and decided to release him from the prison with judicial probe on Friday.

His academic son Süleyman Türk has announced on his twitter account on Friday that a local court in Manisa province has released 82-year-old Hacı Mustafa Türk from prison where he has been kept for last 15 months.

During previous hearing the same court had decided for continuation of imprisonment for Hacı Mustafa Türk on the basis of he can escape and commit the same crime. He was detained as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

It had been reported that Hacı Mustafa Türk, who has number of severe health problems, has been kept together with 29 prisoners in a ward which has a capacity of 14 prisoners.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempton July 15, 2016 that killed 249 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.

Fethullah 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, 2016. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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