UN’s arrested Turkish justice denies Gülen links, says he is a Freemason
Mesut Hasan Benli – ANKARAThe arrested Turkish justice of the U.N.’s Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Aydın Sefa Akay, has denied accusations that he has ties to the Gülen movement, saying that in fact he is a Freemason.
In his seven-page police testimony, Akay denied allegations that he was a follower of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to be behind the July 15 coup attempt.
Akay was detained over alleged links to the outlawed Fethullah Terror Organization (FETÖ) and attempting to change the constitutional order, and he was arrested by an Ankara court on Sept. 28 for using ByLock, a messaging app suspected to be among the main means of internal communication among the Gülenists.
He told police that neither he nor his family have ties to Gülenists, and he downloaded the ByLock app in December 2015 from Google Play upon a suggestion from former Burkino Faso Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole. He said he used it to communicate with Bassole and another individual named Herve Zongo on issues related to Freemasonry.
Questioned about how he was informed about the app, which reportedly requires a coded login, Akay said he did not have to enter a code to login and just used it after downloading.
Responding to questions about books written by Ekrem Dumanlı and Fethullah Gülen that were found in his home, Akay said he had over 2,000 books in his library and noted that “as far as my lifestyle and my environment is concerned, it would be unnatural to have ties to these [ideologies].”
“As part of my duties, I have been abroad numerous times. Most recently I went to Israel between Sept. 12 and 16. Between 1989 and 1993 I was in the United States for my duties, and I was also there in 1994 for a temporary assignment,” he added.
Akay was also asked to state the occupation of his siblings’ wives and husbands, which hospital his children were born in, where and how he met his wife, where his wife works, where he has been on vacation with his wife, and whether he has been on any vacation with individuals from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Meanwhile, MICT President Judge Theodor Meron on Nov. 9 called on Turkey to free the 66-year-old Akay.
“Expressing his personal concern for the welfare of Judge Akay, the president also reported to the Assembly that the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs, on behalf of the Secretary-General, had formally asserted diplomatic immunity, in accordance with the Mechanism’s Statute, and, as a consequence, had requested Judge Akay’s immediate release from detention and the cessation of all legal proceedings against him. In that regard, President Meron expressed regret that the Government of Turkey has not as yet acted upon this formal request,” said the MICT statement.