Turkish man with $1 bills acquitted of Gülen links after admitting cocaine purchase

Mehmet Sinan İnce, a lawyer who had represented Turkey’s infamous mob boss Alaattin Çakıcı, was acquitted by a Turkish court of membership in the Gülen movement after he admitted that he was using one dollar bills that were found in his home to buy cocaine, the online news outlet Sputnik reported.

Turkish investigators claim possession of a one dollar bill and the serial number on the note is a secret mode of communication among alleged members of the Gülen movement. This allegation has led many people with dollar bills to languish in Turkish jails, including Turkish-US national Serkan Gölge, who used to work as a scientist at NASA.

İnce was earlier detained after police found one-dollar bills in a raid on his home. During the trial on Friday, İnce defended himself by claiming that he used the bills to buy cocaine and therefore had nothing to do with the Gülen movement. The court reportedly ruled for the release of the lawyer and acquitted him of any coup-related charges.

Turkish authorities have so far come up with many different theories regarding the $1 bills that come out of people’s pockets or houses. According to one idea, the letters at the start of the banknotes’ serial numbers correspond to ranks in the Gülen movement.

For instance, the letter “F” indicates a high-ranking soldier or police chief, while J and C represent low-ranking soldiers. B is for students, while E and S are for instructors and academics in the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ is among those authorities who are convinced that the $1 bill is a clear indication of membership in the Gülen movement. In a recent interview with the pro-government aHaber television channel he said, “There is no doubt that this $1 bill has some important function within the Gülenist terror organisation.”

Speaking recently to The Associated Press, a senior government official also said Turkish authorities are sure that these specific $1 bills were being used to send “secret” messages or to designate the rank of the holder.

“Multiple people questioned over involvement in the military coup of July 15 told prosecutors they received $1 bills from superiors within the Gülen movement. They were told that Fethullah Gülen himself had blessed the banknotes,” the official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

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 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 other civil servants since July 2016. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency has reported on March 15, 2018 that at least 402,000 people have been the subject of legal proceedings initiated by the Turkish government over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 2, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.” (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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