Professor arrested for Gülenist links

Professor arrested for Gülenist links

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Professor arrested for Gülenist links

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An Istanbul court arrested a well-known Turkish professor over links to the Gülen movement on Sept. 22, 10 days after he and his journalist brother were detained over statements on a TV channel before the July 15 coup attempt that were deemed to “call for a coup.” 

The court ordered Mehmet Altan’s arrest, while releasing his brother, author and former daily Taraf Editor-in-Chief Ahmet Altan parole. However, Ahmet Altan was also detained later in the day on charges concerning his seat at the newspaper.

Mehmet Altan was charged with “attempting to overthrow the government” and “being a member of a terrorist organization” due to statements made on Can Erzincan TV a night before the July 15 coup attempt. 

Mehmet Altan was clearly called for a coup with his statements on the show, the court said. 

“Within the Turkish state, there is possibly another structure that records and observes all these developments [in Turkey] more in the foreign world. It is not certain when it will take its hand out of the bag and how it will take its hand out of the bag,” he said on the show.

Mehmet Altan defended himself, saying he was merely exercising freedom of speech, but the claim was rejected by the court. “Like all freedoms, freedom of press is not limited either and the freedom of press should aim for the public benefit.” 

“The suspect Mehmet Altan, with his intellectual capacity, education level and social status was in a position to easily know” the purpose of the organization, which is to take over the governance of the country, and despite this knowledge appeared on one of the organization’s media organs, making a statement that would benefit meet their aims and support the organization, the court claimed. 

Meanwhile, as part of ongoing operations against the Gülen network, police detained 19 people with alleged links to the organization in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri. 

In Istanbul, prosecutors also ordered the detention of around 100 Kartal Courthouse personnel over alleged links to the network.