Second arrest warrant issued for Gülen, first one for Uslu
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
CİHAN PhotoA Turkish criminal court on Feb. 24 issued another arrest warrant for the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen as a part of the probe into the “parallel state,” in which 28 suspects have been arrested so far. The court also issued an arrest warrant for Emre Uslu, a columnist and a former police official.
The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office has delivered its request for a local court to issue the warrants for the two names, who are listed as suspects in the probe launched against 80 people on charges including espionage, being members of an armed terrorist organization, and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government.
The prosecutor’s office noted that both Gülen and Uslu are currently abroad and the prosecution had not been able to contact them for the investigation. Gülen, a former ally turned arch-enemy of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been abroad since 1998.
Gülen and Uslu are accused of illegal wiretapping, espionage, breaching private life, illegally recording personal data forgery of official documents, establishing an illegal organization, and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government.
The probe into the “parallel state” was launched on July 22, 2014 with simultaneous operations conducted in 22 Turkish provinces. In the first round of raids, 11 police officers, including Yurt Atayün, the former head of the Istanbul anti-terror police department, were arrested for illegally wiretapping President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his inner circle.
In the summary of proceedings delivered to the court, some 101 people, including Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, former National Intelligence Agency (MİT) head Hakan Fidan were named as complainants and victims, while Gülen was cited as the primary suspect in the probe.
Another arrest warrant had been issued for Gülen on Dec. 19 following police operations on the Samanyolu Media Group and daily Zaman. Both the Samanyolu channel and the Zaman newspaper are linked to Gülen.
Erdoğan has repeatedly accused Gülen, whose followers are thought to hold influential positions within the police and the judiciary, of conducting the graft investigation in December 2013 as part of a “coup attempt” to overthrow the government.