Ex-Turkey prosecutor says facing life term over retweet
ISTANBUL - Agence France-Presse
Former prosecutor Gültekin Avcı is also a lawyer for Samanyolu Media Group's General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who has been under arrest for more than four months since he was detained in December as part of a major crackdown against pro-Gülen media. DHA photoA former Turkish prosecutor on April 25 claimed that he was facing a life sentence on terror charges for retweeting a leaked tape that implicated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son in corruption.
His case is the latest in a string of recent incidents in European Union hopeful Turkey, where high-profile figures have found themselves facing criminal lawsuits or jail time after criticising Erdoğan and other Turkish officials on Twitter.
Gültekin Avcı said on his Twitter account that he had been charged with "establishing a terrorist organisation" and "attempting to overthrow the government".
Prosecutors told him that if found guilty he could face a life sentence.
He claimed that the charges were brought solely because he retweeted a link to the leaked tape.
"I told the prosecutors that if governments fell with tweets and retweets, I would not leave Twitter for a second," Avcı defiantly wrote on Twitter, saying he had been released pending trial.
The authorities are hugely sensitive to allegations of corruption following sensational claims against key government members and Erdogan’s inner circle that broke in December 2013.
In the course of the scandal, apparently incriminating wiretap recordings of Erdogan, then-prime minister, and other senior officials as well as businessmen were leaked onto the Internet.
Among them were audio recordings that emerged in February 2014 of Erdoğan allegedly telling his son Bilal to dispose of some 30 million euros ($37 million) in cash. Erdoğan has dismissed the recordings as a "vile montage".
Erdoğan accused his ally-turned-foe, US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen and his supporters of setting up a "parallel state" to concoct the graft scandal and spread leaks in social media to topple his government.
The president has vowed no mercy in the fight against Gülen and the authorities have over the last year effectively purged the police force and judiciary to rid them of pro-Gülenist elements.
Avcı is also a lawyer for Samanyolu Media Group's General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who has been under arrest for more than four months since he was detained in December as part of a major crackdown against pro-Gülen media.