Turkey bar head argues Barbaros Muratoğlu arrest ‘ignores rule of law’
DHA photoUnion of Turkish Bar Associations (TTB) head Metin Feyzioğlu has said the arrest of Doğan Group Ankara Administrative Representative Barbaros Muratoğlu may have “ignored the rule of law” and was difficult to understand.
“I’ve read the decision. I could not understand its justifications. I got the impression that the ruling was given by ignoring the rule of law,” said Feyzioğlu on Dec. 17, a day after Muratoğlu’s arrest on charges of “aiding the armed Fethullahist Terror Organization [FETÖ].”
He particularly referred to the “evidence” that Muratoğlu had shown respect to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen by “buttoning up his jacket” and was “standing on his right side” in a photo taken during a visit to Pennsylvania in 2012.
“[The allegations] sound forced. As far as I read, there was no content on the suspect’s phone related to the ByLock messaging application or crimes. It was only noted that he had phone calls with a lawyer and some state officials who used ByLock,” said Feyzioğlu, referring to the smart phone application believed to have been used by Gülenists for clandestine communication.
The TTB head said it was “noteworthy” that remorseful officials who hired Gülenists to public positions were able to escape prosecution by claiming they were “cheated,” while individuals who had to have contacts with Gülenists due to the positions they occupied have been arrested.
Feyzioğlu also said that it was possible to investigate Muratoğlu without arrest, and he had the impression that the arrest was made “forcefully and by ignoring the rule of law.”
“This could be regarded as a stick in a pressure policy against Turkey’s biggest media group,” he added, referring to the Doğan Group, which owns daily Hürriyet among other outlets.