Prosecutor seeks three aggravated life sentences for journalists over Gülen links
ISTANBULA prosecutor has sought three aggravated life sentences each for journalists Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan in a case into the media leg of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which widely believed to have been behind the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt.
In the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Terror and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau into the 17 suspects, a prosecutor sought aggravated life sentences and up to 15 years of prison for Ilıcak and the Altan brothers for “attempting to prevent the Turkish parliament from carrying out its duties or completely abolish it” and “attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic or prevent it from carrying out its duties.”
The trio also faces charges of “attempting to remove the constitutional order” and “committing a crime on behalf of an armed terrorist group without being a member of it.”
Moreover, the prosecutor sought three aggravated life sentences each and up to 22.5 years in prison for fugitive suspects Ekrem Dumanlı, Tuncay Opçin and Emre Uslu over three of the aforementioned crimes excluding “committing a crime on behalf of an armed terrorist group without being a member of it.”
Dumanlı, Opçin and Uslu were also charged with “managing an armed terrorist organization.”
The indictment, which included several columns by Ahmet Altan, said he wrote the columns “in order to prepare the public for a coup attempt by branding the president of the Turkish Republic as a dictator and saying that he will fall from power in a short period of time.”
Moreover, the indictment also included cell phone records of Altan, which said that he was in contact with the “imams” of the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who are Alaeddin Kaya, Önder Aytaç and Dumanlı.
“Imam,” which traditionally refers to a religious public worker, is a term used by the Gülenist organization to mark local leadership.
The indictment said Ilıcak supported the declaration of martial law in 1978.
“Martial law is in force in 13 provinces. The people who are thirsty for peace call out: Hello soldier,” one of the columns of Ilıcak read, according to the indictment.
Furthermore, the indictment said a former lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is “among the operation team of the Gülenists.”
The former AKP deputy from the western province of İzmir, İlhan İşbilen, resigned after the December 2013 corruption cases.
During the graft probes, four high-ranking former ministers, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muammer Güler, European Union Minister Egemen Bağış and Urban Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, and several businessmen were accused of involvement in a large-scale probe but were late acquitted both in court and parliament.