Metin Gürcan, a founder of the Turkish opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), said on Nov. 26 he had been detained over "political espionage" and that police were raiding his house.
Gürcan, a retired member of the Turkish Armed Forces, helped establish the DEVA with Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister and minister under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Gurcan is also a prominent defense analyst.
"I am being detained on charges of political espionage. The police are in the house... They are searching. I am shocked. I want your help," Gürcan said on Twitter, without elaborating.
📌Siyasi casusluk suçlaması ile göz altına alınıyorum. Polisler evde…Arama yapıyorlar . Şok oldum. Desteğiniz istiyorum.— METIN GURCAN (@Metin4020) November 26, 2021
DEVA chair Babacan has commented on Gürcan's detention, saying such moves undertaken with a "political motivation" cannot discourage his party.
"If today's development has a nature of being political and the target is our party, they cannot discourage DEVA cadres," Babacan told his party members in Istanbul.
"If there is a political intention behind this move, if it has been taken with a political motivation, we will continue on our path in the same way," Babacan said.
Gürcan had earlier this week criticized Erdoğan's chief adviser Oktay Saral after the latter targeted opposition politicians over their criticism of the government.
"This mentality [of Saraly] is the mentality of Venezuela, Turkmenistan, North Korea. If Turkey is still not a dictatorship, it is not because the AKP chair [Erdoğan] does not want to become dictator, but because the opposition in Turkey is still very powerful and pluralistic, and the civil society democracy awareness is powerful, despite everything," Gürcan had written.
Gürcan had also criticized the agreements signed with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this week, saying that the $10 billion funds promised by the UAE might force Turkey to give some concessions in the future. He recalled that Erdoğan used to deem the UAE as an enemy of Turkey, but that changed with the current economic crisis.
"They came. They used to be the foreign powers, but now they became the sponsor of our 'Economic War of Independence,'" Gürcan had said.