Turkish court approves Gülen-link charges for footballers
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyAn Istanbul court accepted an indictment on Dec. 23 against the “football structure” of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), a network accused of instigating Turkey’s July 15 military coup plot.
The indictment – which was prepared by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Mehmet Şenay Baygın and submitted to the city’s 23rd High Penal Court – accused former Turkey-international footballers İsmail Demiriz, Arif Erdem and Ugur Tütüneker of being linked to the network of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Prosecutors demanded up to 15 years in jail for the suspects on charges of “being members of armed terror group.”
The charge sheet stated that Demiriz was previously detained while Tütüneker was released under judicial restrictions. Erdem is on the run.
It also included a statement from footballer Sait Alpsoy, a long-standing imam and a former leading figure of FETÖ’s sport network.
Alpsoy left the group in 2010 after Fetullah Gulen, the U.S.-based leader the network, delivered a controversial statement over an Israeli army raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid flotilla.