Former Istanbul governor, ex-police chief get jail terms over terror-linked charges

Former Istanbul governor, ex-police chief get jail terms over terror-linked charges


A former governor of Istanbul and a former police commissioner in the province were given jail terms on Feb. 9 for their links to Fethullahist  Terror Organization (FETÖ), state-run Anadolu Agency reported, citing an unnamed judicial source.

The 30th Heavy Criminal Court in Istanbul sentenced former Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu to three years, one month and 15 days in prison in a trial against FETÖ’s structure in civil service, said the official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Mutlu was later released by the court, considering the duration he served in the jail.

The former Police Commissioner Huseyin Capkin was also sentenced to two years and one month in prison, the official said.

Mutlu is accused of “being a member of armed terror organization” and Çapkın is accused of “willfully helping the organization, despite not being involved in the organization’s hierarchical structure.”

Mutlu was arrested on Aug. 5, 2016 along with nine other suspects, shortly after Turkey’s July 2016 military coup attempt, believed to have been orchestrated by the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

Mutlu, who served four years as Istanbul governor until 2014, a period that included a police crackdown on the Gezi protests under his watch. In 2014 he was reassigned to Ankara to become an Interior Ministry civil servant but was suspended from his position on July 17, 2016.

He denies having any ties to FETÖ and rejects all charges.

“Everything about me has been analyzed. It has been seen that I am transparent. I have never had a relationship with this [Gülen] movement. For my whole life I have adhered to the constitution and the law. There is no tangible evidence in the indictment in relation to FETÖ,” Mutlu said at the second hearing of the trial, which took place on Aug. 24, 2016 at Istanbul’s 30th Heavy Penal Court.

Çapkın was arrested on Sept. 3, 2016 and also denies all charges.

“I’m not a part of such an organization. I’ve never received help from [such] an organization during my career. I’ve never sent my children to any schools belonging to this group,” he said in his testimony.

The 2016 coup attempt left 250 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded. In the aftermath the government declared a state of emergency, which has continued up until today.