Turkish gov’t blocks access to Furkan news portal on alleged terror charges

Access to all social media accounts and websites belonging to the faith-based Furkan Foundation, which has been critical to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been blocked in Turkey, the furkanhaber.net reported on Saturday.

The ruling came several days after a Turkish court in Adana province appointed trustees to the management of the foundation, and arrested at least 21 people including Alparslan Kuytul, president of the foundation. Kuytul and other arrestees are reportedly accused of “disturbing public order” and “establishing a criminal organization.”

Units from the police’s anti-terror, anti-smuggling and organized crime departments reportedly raided the headquarters of the foundation in Turkey’s Adana province and home addresses of the suspects last week, forcing open its doors and storming the premises. The police also raided the foundation’s branches in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde and the eastern province of Elazığ.

Speaking in a video recently published in the foundation’s website, Kuytul said a person, apparently close to the government, approached one of his advisers during a press conference in İstanbul in April after a violent police intervention in a gathering of his followers in Adana and said, “Tell your leader his way will be cleared if he blames FETÖ [a derogatory term used by government circles to refer to the Gülen movement.]”

“I told my adviser to tell him that I would be a dishonest person to tell such a lie,” Kuytul said in the video.

On April 22, 2017 police in Adana province attacked members of the Furkan Foundation after Kuytul announced opposition to a presidential system proposed by the Erdoğan’s AKP.

When a group of around 200 people, including women and children, gathered at Atatürk Park in downtown Adana and representatives of the foundation wanted to read out a press release to mark the Holy Birth Week of the Prophet Muhammad, police had also attacked them with water cannons and tear gas after warning them that their gathering was not permitted. When members of the group insisted on continuing with the event, 50 people were detained and four others were taken to a hospital after suffering injuries during the police intervention. (turkeypurge.com)

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