CHP leader finds re-arrest of Kavurmacı wrong

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Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu walks during the third day of a protest, dubbed a "justice march", against the detention of his party's lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu, in Saray near Ankara, on June 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized a decision to re-arrest Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, the son-in-law of İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, before starting the third day of a “March of Justice” on Saturday

“I don’t find the verdict to re-arrest Kavurmacı right. There should be no double standards in the judiciary. He should be released pending trial,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

Businessman Kavurmacı, the son-in-law of İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, who had been released by an İstanbul court on May 4 after spending nine months in prison, was detained again and subsequently rearrested following a court decision handed down on Friday.

Kavurmacı, who was first arrested as part of an operation against the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement, was released for reasons of health.

An indictment prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor that became public on May 3 for 83 businessmen including Kavurmacı, who are all members of TUSKON, seeks a jail sentence of from seven-and-a-half years up to 15 years on charges of membership in an armed terrorist organization.

After the indictment became public, Kavurmacı’s lawyers asked for the release of their client from the court, citing health reasons. The court accepted their request.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

Turkey’s AKP government has seized a total of 942 companies with a total value of TL 40.5 billion since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to a statement from Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli on May 29.

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