Main opposition CHP lawyer detained over alleged Gülen links
ANKARACelal Çelik, the official lawyer of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was detained in Ankara as a part of an investigation into the Gülen network.
Çelik was taken into custody in Ankara early Sept. 15 after the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation against him over links to the Gülen network, widely believed to have orchestrated last year’s coup attempt.
A former investigation judge of the Supreme Court, Çelik had resigned from his post in 2011 in protest against the reorganization of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) following a constitutional amendment that took place in 2010.
The CHP’s reaction against the detention of Çelik was swift and strong, with Kılıçdaroğlu describing the detention of the party’s lawyer as “the adbication of reason.”
CHP spokesman Bülent Tezcan said the party would object to the detention of Çelik over FETÖ links.
“Justice, the law, morality, and conscience cannot accept the fact that a lawyer who is willing to devote his whole career to opposing FETÖ has been arrested as an instrument for further plots. We will object to it loudly,” Tezcan said on Sept. 15.
His comments came after the CHP’s official lawyer and high disciplinary board member Çelik was taken into custody in Ankara early Sept. 15 after the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation against him over links to the Gülen network, widely believed to have orchestrated last year’s coup attempt.
Slamming the detention, Tezcan said that they anticipate a release soon.
“If it is not part of a plot like the recent case of journalists and thinkers, we believe that our friend will be released soon. We hope and expect this,” he added, calling on the judiciary to “act in accordance with the law.”
“If that is the case, there is nothing to be afraid of. Our conscience is clear,” Tezcan said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also said the detention was “a work of the judiciary” and would not further elaborate as he did not know about the dossier content and the accusations.
“I hope the right decision will be made as a consequence of the necessary legal proceedings,” Yıldırım told reporters after Friday prayers in Ankara.
On the CHP’s official website, the reason behind Çelik’s resignation was said to be “a protest against the political power and the judiciary politicized by the HSYK, which was changed after the referendum on Sept. 12, 2010.”
Following his resignation, Çelik became the official lawyer of the CHP and Kılıçdaroğlu.
He is also a CHP high disciplinary board member.