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Former President Gül’s advisor faces investigation over ‘terrorist organization membership’

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A prosecutor has launched an investigation into Ahmet Sever, the chief press advisor of former President Abdullah Gül, on accusations of “membership in a terrorist organization,” Turkish media reported on Friday.

Prosecutor Muhammet Akçaer initiated an investigation into Sever, who had worked as press advisor to the former president for over a decade. Due to the confidentiality of the case, the prosecutor did not name which terrorist organization Sever is accused of membership in. Sever could face five to 10 years in prison.

The investigation was launched following reports that Gül is preparing to establish a political party. The former president is considered the strongest possible political rival to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

At the beginning of this month Sever also faced four legal cases filed by President Erdoğan and two other government officials due to what they claim are insults in a book he published in May.

In addition to Erdoğan, Technology and Science Minister Mustafa Varank and Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Mustafa Şentop filed criminal complaints against Sever due to some “insulting” expressions in his book.

The book, titled “İçimde Kalmasın, Tanıklığımdır” (Don’t want to keep it in me, my testimony), has attracted criticism from government circles due to its content that favors Gül and justifies his actions while portraying Erdoğan and some AKP officials as disliking the former president and seeing him as a political rival.

Şentop also filed a lawsuit in civil court for TL 50,000 in damages from Sever, who currently writes for T24.

Sever also sparked controversy in the summer of 2015 when he published another book titled “Abdullah Gül ile 12 Yıl” (12 Years with Abdullah Gül) about his years as Gül’s advisor in which he talked about conflicts between Erdoğan and Gül and how Gül was prevented from running for the presidency again by Erdoğan.

The first hearing will take place on March 21, 2019.

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