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Lawyer for prosecutor defendants in ‘MİT trucks’ case gets 7.5 years in prison

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The lawyer who represented defendants in a case that exposed Turkish intelligence agency trucks carrying arms to Syria in 2014 was handed down a sentence of seven years, six months on Friday.

Alp Değer Tanrıverdi was the lawyer for prosecutors who were tried for ordering a search of National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks illegally carrying arms to Syria in January 2014.

Former prosecutors Süleyman Bağrıyanık, Özcan Şişman, Aziz Takçı and  Ahmet Karaca were arrested due their role in the search of the trucks after government figures, including now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accused them of “treason and espionage.”

As the Diken news website reported, the lawyer for the four fired and jailed prosecutors was also arrested on charges of membership in an “armed terrorist organization,” in reference to the faith-based Gülen movement. The movement is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt in July 2016, although it strongly denies any involvement.

In January 2014 a number of trucks that were found to belong to MİT were stopped by gendarmes in two separate incidents in the southern provinces of Hatay and Adana after prosecutors received tipoffs that they were carrying arms to Syria.

Although the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government claimed the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in Syria, opposition voices questioned why, if the operation was within the law, the government intervened to prevent the trucks from being searched.

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