Top Turkish court rules Gülen movement divulger suffered ‘rights violation’
Avcı’s book, “Haliç’te Yaşayan Simonlar: Dün Devlet Bugün Cemaat” (Devoted Residents of Haliç: Yesterday, State, Today, Religious Community), was one of the first that dug deep inside Gülen’s movement.The Constitutional Court ruled June 18 that the rights of a former police chief who was sentenced to 15 years for a book in which he allegedly exposed the influence of the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen were violated.
The ruling may clear the way for a retrial of former Eskişehir police chief, Hanefi Avcı, who has been imprisoned for four years.
Avcı’s lawyers had filed an individual application in which they argued that the process breached regulations on lengthy detentions and the principle of a fair trial.
Lawyer Fidel Okan said they would file an application at the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office for Avcı’s release.
Avcı’s book, “Haliç’te Yaşayan Simonlar: Dün Devlet Bugün Cemaat” (Devoted Residents of Haliç: Yesterday, State, Today, Religious Community), was one of the first that dug deep inside Gülen’s movement.
Avcı, who said he was formerly a follower of Gülen, accused the movement of pulling strings within Turkey’s police, judiciary and intelligence services. His claims sparked debate about the influence of religious communities in key Turkish state institutions.
Recently, government officials have accused Gülen’s followers of being behind the graft probe investigation that has implicated four ex-ministers and business circles close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Massive purges have been orchestrated within the police department and the judiciary, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even pointed to “a parallel state” aiming to topple the government.