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Lawyer for suspect in Karlov assassination case indicted over Gülen links

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Erdem Semih Yıldız, the lawyer for Salih Yılmaz, who is standing trial in connection with the December 2016 murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, has been indicted for alleged links to the Gülen movement, the T24 news website reported on Monday.

The indictment demanded up to 15 years’ imprisonment for Erdem Semih Yıldız due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government blames for a failed coup in 2016 and labels as a terrorist group.

Karlov was shot dead by an off-duty policeman while speaking at an Ankara exhibit opening in December 2016. The gunman, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, was killed by police at the scene.

In the course of the assassination Altıntaş shouted slogans in reference to Russia’s offensive in Aleppo as well as a war chant used by a jihadist group in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the pro-government media were quick to lay the blame on the Gülen movement.

They insisted on the narrative despite the fact that many suspects denied having any links with the movement and admitted other Islamic affiliations.

The Gülen movement and cleric Fethullah Gülen, who leads it, strongly deny any involvement in the murder as well as the abortive putsch.

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