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Finance minister sends thank you note to businessman convicted of Gülen links

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Turkey’s Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has sent a thank you note to businessman Hüseyin Nuri Çomu, who was convicted of terrorism due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, Turkish media reported on Monday.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Çomu, the chairman of the Sunar Group, posted a photo of the note sent by Albayrak on his Twitter account on Saturday. Albayrak offers his thanks to Çomu due to his contribution to the government campaign to fight inflation.

Çomu was arrested in September 2016 as part of investigation into the followers of the Gülen movement in Adana. He was released pending trial in December 2016. An Adana court handed down a prison sentence of five years, two months on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight, as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 50,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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