Purged Turkish prosecutor sentenced to 10 years over Gülen links

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Former Turkish public prosecutor Ferhat Sarıkaya, who was arrested in the fall of 2018, was sentenced on Thursday to 10 years for “membership in a terrorist organization,” in reference to the Gülen movement.

The Ankara 16th High Criminal Court handed down the verdict for Sarıkaya, who was detained and arrested on charges of alleged links to faith-based Gülen movement.

Sarıkaya was disbarred by Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) and was detained the following day as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup in 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies any involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The former prosecutor, who was suspended in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt, in his testimony denied having any links to the Gülen movement.

Sarıkaya came to public prominence in 2005 when he included the name of then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt in an indictment he drafted concerning the bombing of a bookstore in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district the same year. He was disbarred by the HSK in 2006 for indicting the army chief but was reinstated in 2011.

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