Former AKP Istanbul Mayor's son-in-law faces 15 years for Gülen affiliation

The son-in-law of the former Istanbul Mayor from the ruling Justice and Development Party, Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı is facing 7.5 to 15 years for affiliation with the Gülen organization, Ankara's prime suspect for the botched coup attempt of 2016. Kavurmacı worked for TUSKON, an alleged business affiliate of the Gülen organization, but turned in a notarized resignation prior to the charges against him.

Duvar English

Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, the son-in-law of former Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as well as two of his relatives are facing 7 and a half to 15 years on the charges of "membership to an armed terrorist organization."

The Kavurmacıs are accused of affiliation with the Gülen organization, the network led by U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gülen that Ankara regards as the primary suspect for the 2016 botched coup.

Topbaş's son-in-law Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı worked for TUSKON, which is claimed to be a business affiliate of the Gülen organization, dubbed "FETÖ" by Ankara, an acronym for "Fetullahist Terrorist Organization."

Members of the Kavurmacı family are also tried for using ByLock, a mobile application for encrypted messaging, an act that the Turkish judiciary deems suspicious of terrorist activity.

"It was determined that I didn't use ByLock, that I haven't visited any FETÖ-related websites and that I left TUSKON with a notarized resignation," said Topbaş's son-in-law Kavurmacı in his defense.

He pointed to the numerous epileptic seizures he's experienced in prison since his arrest in 2016, a condition for which he was released in 2017 upon a medical professional's recommendation.

"If I had any wrongdoings, [any repercussions] would be more than welcome. But I've always worked honestly. I'm the only jailed defendant from the 62-person TUSKON board," Kavurmacı said before requesting his acquittal and release.

'We lived our lives transparently'

Mustafa Şevki Kavurmacı said that he was nearing 80-years old and asked his lawyers to read his written statement out loud for him.

"We lived our lives completely transparently. Our companies were just as transparent. We had nothing to do with any organization, with terrorism or with the coup," said Kavurmacı's statement.

Requesting that their companies be returned to the family, Kavurmacı demanded his release.

"I am deeply devoted to my country. I stand with anything that needs to be done for my government and my people."