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Kılıçdaroğlu says detention of his lawyer ‘abdication of reason’

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized the detention of his lawyer, Celal Çelik, over alleged links to the Gülen movement and said the decision is an “abdication of reason.”

The detention was carried out as part of an İstanbul-based investigation into the Gülen movement over its alleged role in stopping the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks that were suspected of illegally transporting weapons to Syria in 2014.

“What is happening today is a disgrace for democracy. The detention decision for Çelik is an abdication of reason,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, criticizing support for the Gülen movement while fighting against it.

CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan, who spoke to Halk TV, lambasted the detention decision and called it a “serious conspiracy.”

The advisor to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Fatih Gürsul, was arrested in December 2016 on charges of using ByLock, a smart phone application that authorities claim is a communication tool between members of the Gülen movement. Gürsul was interrogated by prosecutor Mehmet Şenay Baygın along with 15 other suspects before he was referred to an İstanbul court for arrest. He was subsequently arrested for alleged membership in a terrorist organization.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 coup attempt for which the government accuses the Gülen movement. The movement denies involvement in the abortive coup.

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