Turkey suspends five prison staff after jailed Gülenist suspect appeared in court wearing ‘hero’ t-shirt
Five prison personnel have been suspended from their jobs after a jailed suspect in a case into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) appeared in court wearing a t-shirt that had “hero” written on it.
Gökhan Güçlü, who is a suspect in the case into the assassination attempt of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the failed July 15, 2016, coup attempt, appeared in court wearing the t-shirt, which caused widespread criticism.
A number of other people were then detained by police across Turkey for wearing t-shirts bearing “hero” logos.
An investigation was immediately launched after the incident in the southwestern province of Muğla and five personnel from the Muğla E-Type Prison were suspended by the Justice Ministry.
Speaking about the incident, Muğla Chief Public Prosecutor İlyas Yavuz said Güçlü was escorted out of the courtroom during the hearing held in the Muğla Second Heavy Penal Court and that a widespread investigation has been ongoing ever since.
Yavuz also said another investigation was launched against Güçlü’s sister, who is believed to have sent the t-shirt to the prison.
“We also filed a complaint against Gökhan Güçlü and his sister Bahar Güçlü over making propaganda for a terrorist organization,” he said, adding that they couldn’t determine whether gendarmerie officials are complicit in the incident yet.
Yavuz also said they will ask for permission from related authorities to launch an investigation against the gendarmerie.
“[We are looking into] whether the gendarmerie has any faults, shortcomings, negligence or intentions in the development of this incident. The transfer of prisoners from jails to courthouses is not a legal duty, but an administrative one. We will ask for permission to launch an investigation,” he added.
Saying that they suspended the warden in the prison’s letter investigation commission, Yavuz noted that they will file complaints against the suspended personnel on Aug. 11.
After the incident, authorities moved to make all jailed suspects in the cases into FETÖ, widely believed to have been behind the attempted takeover, wear “single-type” uniforms.
Erdoğan first demanded court attire “like in Guantanamo” on the anniversary of the thwarted coup.
The details of the clothes then emerged, with the president saying that jumpsuits will be worn by “coup plotters” and jackets and trousers will be worn by “terrorists.”
During a speech on Aug. 5, Erdoğan said the color of the jumpsuits would be “dark almond.”