Prominent Turkish author and intellectual Ahmet Altan, who was arrested on Friday after being released just a day before, has said in his testimony that there is not a single piece of evidence supporting the outrageous allegations against him regarding involvement in a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Turkish news portal T24 published Altan’s testimony to the prosecutor in İstanbul’s main courthouse in Çağlayan in which Altan challenged the prosecutors and said that even if all the prosecutors in the building were to work together, they would not be able to find any evidence of membership in a terrorist organization or an attempt to overthrow the government.
In his defense Altan said, “I face outrageous accusations, but there is not a single shred of proof,” adding that a prosecutor detained him arguing that he had sent “subliminal messages that cannot be perceived by the conscious mind.”
Calling on the prosecutors to abide by the rule of law, Altan, who was arrested for managing the critical daily Taraf until 2010, went on to say: “If you arrest an author merely because a prosecutor hates him, there will be no faith left in the rule of law in this country.”
In the arrest ruling, Judge Bekir Altun argued that as editor-in-chief of the Taraf daily, Altan helped in the defamation of the Turkish Armed Forces and “served the objectives of ‘FETÖ’,” while arguing that Altan knew about the coup attempt in advance based on his remarks on a TV show on July 14.
“FETÖ” is a pejorative term that the Turkish government coined to label the peaceful Gülen movement.
Altan was arrested due to his work as a journalist since his columns of May 12, 2016 and June 27, 2016 are cited in the court decision as evidence of having laid the groundwork for the coup attempt.