Ankara court accepts indictment over opposition tape scandal
The Ankara 14th High Criminal Court accepted on Oct. 9 an indictment prepared against 171 suspects, including the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, over a 2010 tape scandal involving former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) executives.
The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office said in the indictment sent to the 14th High Criminal Court that an investigation was launched into the incident after footage of Baykal leaked online in 2010, but no conclusion was reached until 2016.
The leaked recordings were “organized by [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] FETÖ, which wants to design political life in an attempt to take control of the state with the active participation of organization members in police intelligence units,” the indictment states.
It alleges that the suspects installed audio and video recorders in 12 different addresses, targeting 24 individuals. Baykal was among the targets, with footage emerging of him in flagrante delicto with a former CHP deputy.
Following the emergence of the scandal in May 2010, Baykal resigned as party leader.
According to the indictment, 164 of the suspects are working in police intelligence units, 151 are FETÖ members, and 118 are users of
ByLock, an encrypted smartphone application used almost exclusively by sympathizers of Gülen.
The indictment also states that the case regarding illegal recordings of former MHP executives were sent in 2011 to the Istanbul
Prosecutor’s Office, which stalled the process of evidence collection and suspect identification.
The case file on the Baykal leak has been merged with the case file on the former MHP executives due to the similarities in the recording of the tapes, their leaking, and testimonies indicating that both of the incidents were undertaken by the same organization.