Turkey detains local chair of Amnesty International over alleged Gülen links
ISTANBULPolice on June 6 detained the local chair of Amnesty International for suspected links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have been behind the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Police detained Taner Kılıç and 22 other lawyers in the western province of İzmir, the group said, citing a detention order.
“We are calling on the Turkish authorities to immediately release Taner Kılıç along with the other 22 lawyers, and drop all charges against them,” Amnesty International’s secretary general Salil Shetty said.
“Taner Kılıç has a long and distinguished record of defending exactly the kind of freedoms that the Turkish authorities are now intent on trampling,” Shetty added.
He also said the detentions “proved how arbitrary Ankara’s post-coup crackdown has become.”
Kılıç was detained by police at his home in İzmir early on June 6 before being taken to his office, Amnesty stated. Both properties were searched and he remains in police custody.
His detention did not appear to be connected to his work with the rights group, nor did it appear to specifically target the organization, Amnesty said. It was unclear why he was suspected of having links to Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), it said.
Over 100,000 people have been dismissed or suspended from the public sector under a state of emergency imposed a few days after the July 2016 attempted coup and renewed three times.