CHP deputy head criticizes extended detention period for party lawyer held over Gülen links
ANKARAMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Bülent Tezcan has slammed a prosecutor’s decision to extend the detention period for the party’s lawyer, Celal Çelik, who had been in detention for over 10 days as part of the investigation into the Gülen network.
“The [detention] period has been extended. According to the normal detention period Çelik should have been brought before the judge [on Sept. 22]. This is proof of the fact that he is being held without any serious evidence or documents in the hands of the prosecution. Clearly the prosecution is looking for evidence in order to keep him in detention,” Tezcan said.
He called for Çelik’s immediate release, describing the investigation as “unserious” and “an unlawful intimidation operation.”
Çelik, who is also a lawyer for CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was taken into custody in the capital Ankara early on Sept. 15 after the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into him over links to the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have orchestrated last year’s coup attempt.
A former investigating judge at the Supreme Court, Çelik resigned from his post in 2011 in protest at the reorganization of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) following a constitutional amendment that took place in 2010.
Kılıçdaroğlu has described the lawyer’s detention as “the abdication of reason,” while Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said it was simply “work of the judiciary.”