Turkish pop singer Fatih Karaca, who uses the stage name Mabel Matiz, has testified to prosecutors about using one dollar bills in a video clip shot in 2017 based on accusations that he has links to the Gülen movement, Turkish media reports said on Tuesday.
Following a botched coup on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government accused Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen of masterminding the attempt and labeled the movement inspired by him as a terrorist organization. According to the Turkish government, one dollar bills are an encrypted messaging system among members of the movement. Consequently, many people carrying one dollar bills have been arrested.
Having danced with one-dollar bills in his jacket’s pockets in the video, shot for his track “Ya Bu İşler Ne,” Matiz is accused of aiding the Gülen movement.
The investigation was launched after an unidentified person filed a complaint with the İstanbul’s Public Prosecutor’s Office against the singer.
Matiz told prosecutors that he did not intend to “aid the group” and that it was the producer who edited the clip.
At least 445,000 people have faced investigation over their links to the movement since the failed coup, according to government sources. Some 150,000 of them have passed through police custody and 90,000 ended up behind bars pending trial.
Law enforcement used one dollar bills to jail many people including columnist and Professor Mehmet Altan. American journalist Lindsey Snell said in August 2016 that her husband was also detained for possessing one dollar bills at their apartment in Istanbul.
The evidence produced by an İstanbul prosecutor to jail NASA scientist Serkan Gölge in August 2016 also include one dollar bills police seized during a search of his brother’s room.
[Turkish Minute with Turkey Purge]