24 soldiers face aggravated life terms in governor’s office raid probe

24 soldiers face aggravated life terms in governor’s office raid probe

24 soldiers face aggravated life terms in governor’s office raid probe Istanbul prosecutors have sought three aggravated life sentences for 24 soldiers accused of aiding putschist soldiers in a raid on the Istanbul Governor’s Office on the night of July 15.

The prosecutors filed a 158-page indictment against the suspects on Dec. 22 and sent the document to an Istanbul court that follows cases of terror and organized crimes. 

The 24 suspects, one of whom is currently arrested, are charged with committing crimes against the constitutional order. One of the suspects, Yusuf Yıldız, is charged with membership in the Gülen movement and faces up to 15 years in jail, while 23 suspects face up to 10 years for aiding the group without being its members. 

The indictment is the fourth one in Istanbul that was prepared against the July 15 coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been carried out by the Gülen movement. 

Meanwhile, a court on Dec. 22 ruled to seize the financial properties of 54 Gülenists suspects, including that of daily Zaman’s former editor-in-chief, Ekrem Dumanlı, and several of its journalists. The daily was claimed to be the major news outlet linked to the organization.  

On the same day as part of a Gülenist probe, 35 former employees of state-run TV channel TRT were detained for allegedly using the organization’s alleged inner communication application, ByLock. 

Operation at university, Education Ministry

Police in the western province of Uşak on Dec. 22 also detained a total of eight suspects, including the rector of Uşak University, as part of an ongoing investigation into the attempted takeover, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. 

Anti-smuggling and organized crime units in Uşak conducted simultaneous operations on many addresses across the province, targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement as part of the investigation launched by the Uşak Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office after the attempted takeover.

The rector, Professor Sait Çelik, and seven other suspects were detained in the operations, while one suspect was still being sought. 

The eight suspects were transferred to Uşak’s police headquarters after undergoing medical checks at Uşak State Hospital.

In a separate anti-Gülenist operation, Turkey’s Education Ministry has suspended 1,980 civil servants – including teachers – over suspicions they are linked to the group, state-run Anadolu Agency reported Dec. 21. More than 11,000 teachers were suspended over suspected links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the ministry announced on Sept. 8. 

“A total of 11,285 personnel linked to the separatist terrorist organization have been suspended,” the ministry stated. 

Some 28,163 personnel from the Education Ministry, including teachers, were suspended after a decree law was issued on Nov. 1.