Prominent judge released after Gülen confessions: Report
ANKARAA member of Turkey’s High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), who was allegedly involved in helping a follower of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullan Gülen remain in his seat, has been released with two colleagues after providing crucial information regarding the group.
Mustafa Kemal Özçelik, one of the HSYK members who voted against the dismissal of prosecutor Murat İnam, a suspect in the Gülen prosecutions who recently opened a controversial investigation into daily Cumhuriyet, was arrested for alleged links to Gülenists along with two other HSYK members Kerim Tosun and Ahmet Hamsici.
Özçelik, Tosun and Hamsici all confessed to wrongdoing before being released, and Özçelik was reportedly against the dismissal of İnan, Cumhuriyet reported on Nov. 14.
The report said Tosun went to the prosecutor’s office one month ago to confess what he knows about the Gülen movement, before being released due to his cooperation with the police. Özçelik was also released weeks later.
Özçelik, Tosun and Hamsici reportedly told investigators about the role of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) during the 2010 and 2014 HSYK elections. They also described how they became members of the organization and gave names of alleged Gülen affiliates in the judiciary.
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, meanwhile, has expressed “regret” that İnam was appointed to the ongoing investigation into daily Cumhuriyet over alleged “terrorism” links.
“It is unfortunate that this probe was given to that prosecutor. I wish such an appointment had not taken place. Someone else could have done it well. We do not have the authority to change prosecutors; it is completely under the authority of the chief prosecutor. But I want to stress that there were no bad intentions here,” said Bozdağ.