30 FETÖ-Linked Lawyers, Including MHP Dissident Akşener’s Counsel, Arrested In Probe
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) dissident Meral Akşener's lawyer Nuri Polat was among the 30 suspects arrested on Wednesday for his alleged links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), according to sources in the judiciary.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on conditions of anonymity, the sources said Erdoğan Soruklu, the appointed legal counsel for Erhan Tuncel, who stands accused in the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, was arrested along with Nazif Aktaş and Seyfettin Dayan, who have also represented FETÖ-linked former police commissioners.
As part of an investigation into FETÖ-linked lawyers, 38 suspects provided initial testimonies to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. The Istanbul judge then ordered that some 30 lawyers be remanded in custody while releasing eight.
The investigation revealed that 25 of the suspects had used the mobile app ByLock, a suspected means of communication for FETÖ members, while five others had placed calls to people, who used the app.
According to the Turkish government, FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the failed July 15 coup attempt last year that left 249 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara has said that FETÖ was behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish state through the infiltration of various institutions; particularly the military, police and the judiciary.
Meanwhile, Akşener has been accused of having close ties to FETÖ. MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli had claimed in December 2015 that one of the party candidates was being used as a political tool by FETÖ.
"There is a candidate who joined the MHP as a political figure from the Gülen Movement."
Even though Bahçeli did not name this "political tool," Akşener was prompt to dismiss claims that she was the "tool," adding that, she would have "proudly acknowledged if that was the case."
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