Turkish gov’t sentences Fethullah Gülen’s lawyer to 12 years in prison

Fethullah Gülen's lawyer Fethi Ün

Turkish government has sentenced Feti Ün, a prominent lawyer who has represented US-based Turkish-Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen for years, to 12 years in prison on Monday.

It was reported that a Turkish court in İzmir province has  initially handed lawyer Ün a sentence of 8 years behind bars, which was increased to 12 years accordingly to the Counterterror Act.

According to data compiled by independent monitoring site The Arrested Lawyers’ Initiative, 555 lawyers have been arrested since July 15, 2016 and 1,433 lawyers were under prosecution as of Oct. 27, 2017. Sixty-two lawyers have received lengthy prison sentences thus far. Some of the arrested lawyers were reportedly subjected torture and ill treatment. Fourteen of the detained or arrested lawyers are  presidents or former presidents of provincial bar associations.

In another trial, a court in the central province of Konya, 6 former police officers, along with the former assistant police director of Konya’s Aksehir district and a former security chief, were separately handed sentences ranging from 6 years and 10 months to 7 years and 6 months over their alleged links to the Gülen movement on Monday.

The 3rd High Criminal Court in the northern province of Samsun also sentenced former gendarmerie lieutenant Hüseyin Gültekin to 6 years and 3 months on Monday as part of a probe in the framework of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement. Meanwhile, a Samsun court also jailed a former doctor to 6 years and 3 months in prison over his alleged links to the movement.

Moreover, in a trial concerning Turkey’s Central Bank staff in Ankara on Monday as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, 8 of 36 suspects who had been detained, were released under judicial control.

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