Turkey: Court okays charges for FETO-linked academics
Prosecutor demands up to 15 years in jail for 15 academics on charges of being members of armed terrorist group.
By Muhammed Enes Can and Murat Kaya
An Istanbul court Monday accepted an indictment against the “academic structure” of the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group accused of instigating the defeated July 2016 coup in Turkey.
The indictment — prepared by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Mehmet Senay Baygin and submitted to the city’s High Penal Court — accuses 15 Marmara University academics of being linked to the FETO terror group.
Prosecutors demanded up to 15 years in jail for the suspects on charges of being members of an armed terrorist group.
The indictment states that 10 of the suspects have been dismissed from their professions while five have been suspended by statutory decree after an initial investigation following the coup attempt.
In the indictment, Baygin said that all the suspects were using ByLock, a secret smartphone messaging app the Turkish government says was used by FETO members.
The indictment added that some academics also did banking at Bank Asya, a bank affiliated with FETO, showing their loyalty to Fethullah Gulen, the terror group’s U.S.-based leader.
The indictment also stated that FETO had established 17 universities in Turkey, all since shut down by statuary decree.
Turkey accuses the FETO terror network of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
According to Turkey’s government, FETO leader Gulen masterminded the July 15 failed coup, which left 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.