Aksener’s lawyer petitions for removal of Turkey’s secret investigation order

A lawyer for nationalist opposition Good Party (IP) leader Meral Aksener says Turkish prosecutors have been investigating his alleged ties to the Gulen movement, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Ankara since 2016.

Lawyer Hasan Seymen, who is also the party’s deputy chairman, revealed via tweets on Thursday that a confidentiality order in May was issued for the investigation by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office that launched it three years ago.

He announced that on June 28, he submitted a petition to request that the confidentiality order on the investigation be removed so that it can be carried out openly and transparently.

Seymen further indicated that Aksener has not been summoned by the prosecutors to testify as part of the probe because no concrete evidence proving her links to the group has been found in the past three years.

The lawyer underlined that the file about Aksener’s alleged links to Gulen group, which has stayed on the shelf for three years, was picked up again following opposition victories in some of Turkey’s largest cities in the March 31 local poll.

In a tweet, Seymen reminded the public of the parliamentary question presented by his party to investigate Gulen group’s alleged links to the politicians, which was unanimously rejected by AK Party and its nationalist ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

“We will do anything that we can to ensure that this investigation is carried out within the limits of the law and resulted in a healthy manner. We will provide the prosecutor’s office with any evidence they need if there is any,” he vowed.

Referring to Erdogan and the ruling AK Party, the deputy chair also stressed that they will not stop fighting against those who aim to intimidate the opposition through the judiciary.

The IP was formed as an alternative for nationalists and center-right Turkish voters on October 25, 2017.

After failing to pass the 10 percent threshold in the June 24 parliamentary election in 2018, the party secured 43 seats in parliament due to its election alliance with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Islamist opposition Felicity Party (SP).

In the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt, Ankara launched a crackdown on real and alleged members of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

As a result, nearly 80,000 people have been detained or arrested while a total number of more than 511,000 people have been prosecuted due to alleged affiliation with the Gulen group, the Interior Ministry said.

The US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who leads the group, as well as his followers, are accused by the Turkish government of staging the failed military coup targeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party on July 15, 2016.

Gulen and members of his movement strongly deny terror accusations and any involvement in the attempted military coup.

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