Russian realtor in Antalya suspected of ISIL membership, faces 15 years
ANTALYA - Doğan News Agency
DHA photoA Russian real estate agent operating in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, who was detained for a short period before the G-20 summit in November 2015 on suspicion of being an ISIL militant, is now facing 15 years in prison.
Russian citizen 34-year-old Aleksei Alekseev did not appear at the third hearing of the case at Antalya’s 2nd High Criminal Court, but was represented by his lawyer Nurali Çitil.
Alekseev came to Turkey via the Sarp border gate with his wife and two children two years ago after an investigation was opened in the Russian city of Tyumen concerning his activities after he converted to Islam.
In Antalya, the 2nd High Criminal Court opened a case into him for being a member of an armed organization, alleging that he provided accommodation for ISIL militants trying to cross over to Syria and Iraq. Several photographs of public buildings, their floorplans, the G-20 fair venue, passport photocopies, photos containing violent scenes, and armed people in camouflage dresses were found by investigators on his computer.
In his defense, Alekseev argued that he came to Antalya two years ago and was selling real estate especially to Russian citizens. He said it was natural to have photos of several sites on his computer because every realtor has photos of property that he is selling and of the surrounding neighborhood.
Alekseev denied having any connection to the armed and camouflaged people seen on photos in his computer. The indictment said the anti-terror department of the Antalya police had information that Alekseev was providing one-night accommodation for militants crossing to the war zone as well as arranging plane, boat and train trips.
With 15 years in jail demanded for the defendant, Alekseev’s lawyer said he denied all charges.
The hearing was postponed after the reading of the indictment.