Ex-prosecutor and judges receive prison sentences on terror charges

Two former Turkish judges and an ex-prosecutor, who were detained on terror-related charges, received prison sentences at the recent final hearing of their case on Monday, online news portal Diken reported.

The Izmir 16th Heavy Penal Court sentenced former prosecutor Ilker Cetin to 12 years in prison on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization.”

The two former judges, Serdar Gocer and Esra Selcuk, also received sentences on the same charge. Gocer was sentenced to eight years in prison, while Selcuk was sentenced to six years, 10 months and 15 days.

The court ruled for their continued detention due to them being followers of the faith-based Gulen movement, which is considered an outlawed terrorist organization by the Turkish government.

They were all dismissed from their posts before they were arrested through emergency decrees issued by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the aftermath of the attempted coup on July 15, 2016.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Fethullah Gulen, the US-based leader of the movement who has been living in self-imposed exile since 1999, and his followers of instigating the failed military coup.

As part of a crackdown carried out by Erdogan’s AKP government that has targeted the alleged and real members of the movement, more than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial.

Around 150,000 public officers, military personnel and others have also been sacked or suspended from their jobs due to links to the faith-based movement.

According to the latest figures of the Justice Ministry, there were 258,660 prisoners in 385 prisons in Turkey at the end of 2018. The number increased sharply due to what critics claim to be politically motivated trials and arrests following the failed coup.

Gulen strongly denies allegations of any involvement in the putsch attempt.

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