Police detain 6 members of Boydak family due to Bank Asya account

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Turkish police teams on Thursday detained six members of the Boydak family, prominent industrialists from the Central Anatolian city of Kayseri, on the grounds that they deposited money in the now-closed Bank Asya, which was affiliated with the Gülen movement.

The Kayseri Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for nine members of the Boydak family, six of whom were detained in police operations across Kayseri, Ankara and İstanbul on Thursday.

The suspects are accused of depositing money in Bank Asya following a corruption scandal in late 2013 in which senior members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government were implicated.

The AKP government launched a war against the faith-based Gülen movement following public revelation of the corruption scandal claiming that the movement’s members within the judiciary and police force had masterminded the investigation. The movement denies any involvement.

Turkey’s once-largest Islamic lender Bank Asya was seized by the government in 2015 for its alleged links to the Gülen movement.

The AKP government seized Bank Asya on dubious grounds in May 2015, suggesting that the lender’s financial management posed a threat to the Turkish banking system. The bank’s shareholders denied the allegations and vowed to take legal action. The bank was closed down in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016. The government again put the blame for the coup attempt on the Gülen movement despite denial from the movement.

In a decision on Feb.11, Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that depositing money in Bank Asya following the revelation of the corruption scandal in late 2013 is sufficient reason to deem a person a member of “Fetö,” a derogatory term coined by the AKP government to refer to the Gülen movement.

Meanwhile, several leading members of the Boydak family have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism and coup plotting, stemming from alleged links to the Gülen movement. The government in August 2016 also seized Boydak Holding, which is among Turkey’s largest industrialist groups.

Brothers Hacı, Memduh and Bekir Boydak had been let out of prison in November 2016 to attend their mother’s funeral, but they were brought to the service in handcuffs, attracting widespread criticism. The mother had fallen ill after her three sons were arrested and was being treated at a Kayseri hospital.

They face accusations as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, against which the Turkish government has been waging an all-out war, claiming that it masterminded the failed coup attempt in 2016.

Boydak Holding is active in a number of sectors, including energy, furniture and banking with 38 subsidiary companies. According to its website, it has an annual turnover of more than TL 6 billion ($2 billion) and employs over 13,000 people.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having orchestrated the abortive coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — calling the 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.

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