Man sentenced on terrorism charges for stash of old lighters
Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has approved a man’s seven-year prison sentence on terrorism charges on the grounds that 19 lighters were found in his house, according to Ayça Söylemez of web portal bianet.org.
The İzmir High Criminal Court sentenced Arif Pelit, who is 80 percent mentally disabled in addition to suffering a 15 percent orthopedic disorder, to prison in October 2011 even though the İzmir Police Department and the prosecutor said the stash of lighters did not represent a criminal element.
Eighteen of the 19 lighters were dead, while the other was only half-full when they were seized by police, according to reports.
"I am a member of an organization called ‘Fundamental Rights and Freedoms,’ but I work at a coffee house from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.," Pelit said. "It's normal that there are lighters in my house because I smoke two packets a day. Some of the lighters are from the coffee house that were forgotten there."
The Supreme Court, however, approved the sentence, saying Pelit was a “member of the DHKP/C [Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front] terrorist organization” on the grounds of the unusual number of lighters and firecrackers in his home that could be used on behalf of the organization.