Faruk Güllü, the owner of a chain of restaurants specializing in the popular regional desert baklava, has been sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison on charges of being a member in an armed terror organization by an Istanbul court on Feb. 12.
Güllü was convicted on the basis of alleged connections with Fethullah Gülen, the exiled, US-based Islamic preacher that the Turkish government accuses of being behind the July 2016 failed coup attempt.
Güllü was a former board member of the shuttered Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) a business association known to be close to a movement consisting of Gülen’s followers, which the government, once close allies of the group, has since rebranded the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
In spite of the prison sentence the court handed down, due to the fact that Güllü has spent the past three and a half years behind bars and has experienced health problems, he was released with judicial control conditions and a travel ban.
Güllü was one of a number of prominent alleged Gülenist businessmen that had their businesses and assets seized based on their affiliations with the cleric, with company leadership being replaced by a government-appointed trustee. However, the court opted to remove the trustee that was appointed to Güllü’s Faruk Gülluoğlu baklava chain, which operates a number of branches in Istanbul and throughout western Turkey.