Turkish Interior Minister slams reports of religious cults’ infiltration into state as ‘provocations’
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has denied reports that religious cults infiltrated into the state. Soylu's remarks came following debates on religious cults' infiltration into state institutions, mainly the Health Ministry. "They are lies. They are provocations," Soylu said, adding that no such infiltration is the case in any of the state institutions.
Some 46.9 percent of voters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) want Islamic cults in Turkey to be shut down, according to a recent survey. Asked if there should be a government institution that inspects these religious cults and communities, 67.8 percent of AKP voters gave an affirmative answer.
Court of Cassation to discuss case of 50 former judges, prosecutors for their roles in ‘Sledgehammer’ trials
The Court of Cassation, Turkey's high court of appeals, has accepted the indictment into 50 former judges and prosecutors for their involvement in the "Balyoz" ("Sledgehammer") case, which was later revealed to be a conspiracy plotted by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Former Zaman columnist Mümtazer Türköne released from jail following Erdoğan ally’s call for his retrial
Former Zaman daily columnist Mümtazer Türköne has been released from jail following Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli's call for his retrial. Türköne's lawyer Figen Çalıkuşu has said she believes the release came after the Court of Cassation overturned the sentence following an appeal.
Police have detained over 40 people in an operation based in the western province of İzmir against the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Another operation was launched in the capital Ankara as part of an investigation launched by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against the Gülenists in the air forces.
Former army chief İllker Başbuğ last month in his testimony reiterated his stance on the Gülen network being responsible from drafting a 2009 legislation which paved the way for civilian courts to try military personnel and pointed the finger towards the then Justice Minister, according to newly surfaced information. “I think that the addressee of the issue is the then Justice Minister and Justice Ministry bureaucrats when the bill was submitted to parliament,” Başbuğ reportedly told prosecutors.
A pollster conducted a survey to understand if religious sects and communities have discredited themselves in the eyes of the Turkish public following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been undertaken by the Gülen movement. The survey found that some 9.7 percent of Turkish parents are still willing to send their children to schools affiliated with religious sects, if the government was ever to allow the opening of such schools.
Four years after the attempted takeover, a number of crucial questions remain unanswered, especially on former army chief Hulusi Akar and MİT chief Hakan Fidan. "Erdoğan protected Akar and Fidan in an incomprehensible manner. The fact that these two officials made an evaluation mistake caused a lot of people to get killed or wounded," journalist Mehmet Yılmaz told Duvar English.
The father of NBA center Enes Kanter, a staunch follower of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, has been acquitted of charges that he was a member of the Gülen movement. Mehmet Kanter, the father and a genetics professor in Turkey, was alleged to have supported the Gülenists, the group widely believed to have orchestrated the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
CHP asks when AKP official will be summoned to testify after ‘confessing Gülen network’s political leg’
Turkey's main opposition CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak has said that an AKP official who recently resigned from his post had "confessed" about the ruling party "being the political leg" of the Gülen network. He asked if prosecutors will summon former AKP official Emre Cemil Ayvalı to testify over his comments, as they did for former army chief İlker Başbuğ.
CHP calls on gov’t to reveal 2015 intel report said to have urged for dismissal of key Gülenist general
After former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced that former Major Gen. Mehmet Dişli was kept on duty despite an intelligence report urging for the Gülenist general's dismissal, main opposition CHP called on the gov't the reveal the content of the relevant report. CHP Deputy Chair Özgür Özel said that the 2015-dated report is important in terms of enlightening the process leading to the failed coup attempt of July 2016.
Aegean Army Commander Lt. Gen. Ali Sivri's aide was detained over his suspected links to the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, which is the group widely believed to have carried out the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. Aide F.Ö. is accused of having links to one of the Gülenist "imams," identified only as L.Ç.
Chief of Staff of the Turkish Navy Rear Admiral Cihat Yaycı, who resigned after being demoted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said that he was set up in a conspiracy reminiscent of those previously used by Gülenists. "It's clear that I can't continue my duty as a rear admiral who was dismissed as a result of lies and slander via a plot," Yaycı said in his resignation letter.
The Ankara 19th Administrative Court has found inconsistencies in the case of a man accused of membership of four ideologically different groups designated as terrorist organizations in Turkey. Volkan Ayhan, who was sacked from his post following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, was accused of being a member of the Gülen organization, PKK, MKP and the DHKP-C.
Businessman accused of illegal lobbying says he hired Flynn after failing to convince Turkish gov’t to do so
Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, who was accused of illegal lobbying, has said that he tried to convince the Turkish government to hire the Flynn Intel Group following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, but stepped in himself after failing to do so. "I tried to convince the government and at some point I thought I convinced them, but it was a very busy time for them as well and it didn't push through soon enough. So that's when I stepped in and decided to do it myself and it was all very quick," he said.