Ensar Foundation manager exposed as releasing suspect of CHP head assault

Ankara’s head of the Ensar Foundation (known for its close ties to President Tayyip Erdogan), Public Prosecutor Ercan Poyraz, has been exposed as the prosecutor who ordered the release of one of the perpetrators who assaulted the main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, last month, according to Cumhuriyet daily’s report on Thursday.

Main opposition secular Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) head, Kilicdaroglu, was attacked by a mob at a soldier’s funeral in Ankara’s Cubuk district.

One of the perpetrators who punched Kilicdaroglu on the head several times, Osman Sarigun, was found to be a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Of the nine assault suspects at the funeral, Sarigun was the last one to be
released on order of the Cubuk Public Prosecutor Ercan Poyraz, a former lawyer who became a prosecutor in 2017 when he was also the Ankara representative of the Ensar Foundation.

As part of the investigation into the attack, Poyraz issued a warrant of arrest for Sarigun a day after the incident and demanded that he be questioned before being released on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization.

Critics claim that Poyraz used the terrorist accusation as a way of avoiding charges of assault on Sarigun, but ordered that he be released after a brief detention and before all details of the incident came to light.

Sarigun, who was seized while running from the police in Eskisehir’s Sivrihisar district, was released and placed under judicial supervision after questioning.

Although the perpetrator was detained on terror accusations, his questioning involved charges of insult against a public officer, injuring a public officer and public incitement of a crime.

The Ensar Foundation, which provides religious education and accommodation to Turkish students, was involved in a child abuse  scandal in 2016 when a teacher at the foundation was charged with the sexual abuse of 45 young children who had been staying in the foundation’s accommodation in Karaman province.

The AKP has received harsh criticism from all parties over its poor handling of and reaction to the case after imposing a broadcast ban of the incident in a bid to prevent the reporting of it.

A recent report by the Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service revealed that the Ensar Foundation has received 29,797,240 lira from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality fund over the past year-and-a-half before CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu took the seat following the March local elections.

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