CHP spokesperson says detention of Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawyer an intimidation operation

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson and Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan has said the detention of lawyer Celal Çelik, who represented CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, is an intimidation operation.

Tezcan’s remarks came on Wednesday after a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting.

Calling for the release of Çelik, who, Tezcan argued, is being kept in jail without any evidence, Tezcan accused prosecutor’s offices of trying to find evidence after jailing suspects rather than taking action after evidence is found.

This in itself shows that the investigation is not serious. There is one suspect, and it is not clear who else is a suspect in the file. There is a confidentiality decision, and lawyers cannot access the file. This is an intimidation operation. If the prosecutors do not have ill intentions, then they are unskilled; if they are not receiving instructions, then they are trying to be officious. Everything is illegal here, there is nothing in accordance with the law,” Tezcan said.

Çelik was detained on Sept. 15 at his home in Ankara.

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

According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, Çelik canceled his cable subscription when Gülen-linked television stations such as Samanyolu TV and Bugün TV were removed from the Digitürk platform.

The report said that Çelik was in close contact with advisor to Kılıçdaroğlu Fatih Gürsul, who 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.

Tezcan, who earlier spoke to Halk TV, criticized the detention decision and called it part of a “serious conspiracy.”

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.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants after the coup attempt.

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