Turkish prosecutor seeks 34-year jail term for Fethullah Gülen
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
HÜRRİYET photoAn Istanbul prosecutor has demanded a jail term of up to 34 years for U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen on charges of “conspiracy, forgery of official documents and slander” as part of a probe on what is known as the “parallel state” in Turkey.
The prosecutor also sought prison sentences of up to 26 years each for 32 other suspects, including Samanyolu Media Group chairman Hidayet Karaca and several police chiefs on charges of “membership in an armed organization, forgery of official documents and slander.”
The jail terms are related to a probe over a 2011 complaint filed by Mehmet Nuri Turan, the founder of the Istanbul-based publishing house “Tahşiye,” who had claimed that he had been targeted by Gülen.
The prosecutor’s office also said a separate probe was underway into Ekrem Dumanlı, a columnist and editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper, in relation to the Tahşiye case.
Turan said Gülen first targeted the Tahşiye Publishing House in 2009. In a speech, the preacher alleged that Tahşiye and its “Tahşiyeciler” group had links with extremist organizations – including an al-Qaeda-affiliated group – Hizbullah in Turkey and the outlawed Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front (İBDA-C).
Turan also said Ali Fuat Yılmazer, a former head of police intelligence department, also submitted a report in 2009 which alleged that the Tahşiyeciler supported extremist groups like al-Qaeda.
The same Tahşiyeciler group was also allegedly defamed as a shadowy organization in the “One Turkey” TV series that used to be broadcast on the private Turkish TV network Samanyolu.
Samanyolu TV chairman was also detained in the parallel state probe for alleged ties with the Gülen movement.