AKP nominates controversial figure for member of parliament from Van

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Osman Nuri Gülaçar, who was detained in an investigation into al-Qaeda’s Turkey operation in 2009, has been nominated for member of parliament by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in elections scheduled to take place on June 24.

Gülaçar also applied to become a parliamentary candidate from the AKP in 2015 but was not nominated. This time, he topped the list among candidates for the party in Van province.

He ran for mayor of Van in 2014 but was not elected.

According to the Mezopotamya news agency, Gülaçar spent two months in pretrial detention on accusations of being al-Qaeda’s point man in Van province. He was acquitted of all charges in his subsequent trial.

A former official imam, Gülaçar was also known for using hate speech in meetings and at Friday prayers.

In another police operation against al-Qaeda in Van, Gülaçar’s house was raided in 2014 before elections. He claimed at the time that the operation was conducted in order to harm then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan described Gülaçar as a “bright personality” during the local election campaign in February 2014.

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