Turkish gov’t critic, religious foundation chair faces 20-year prison sentence

The Adana 11th High Criminal Court on Friday accepted an indictment demanding 20 years in prison for Alparslan Kuytul, the chairman of a religious foundation, on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda, the Diken news website reported.

Furkan Foundation chair Kuytul, a fierce critic of the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) in his speeches, was arrested in February for spreading the propaganda of the Gülen movement and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The indictment includes 44 other members of the foundation, which has been run by a government trustee appointed by the Adana court since Kuytul’s arrest.

The first hearing in the trial is scheduled for Nov. 8.

Since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government has jailed its critics on terrorist propaganda charges, using speeches, social media posts and newspaper columns as evidence.

As the government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the abortive putsch, although the movement strongly denies it, many prominent figures in the country have been charged with supporting the movement. (turkishminute.com)

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