Ali Tezel, a journalist and social security expert, was briefly detained on Monday due to social media posts about the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016, according to Turkish media reports.
“I am being detained, I don’t know the reason,” Tezel tweeted on Monday morning. At noon, he posted another tweet, announcing that he had been released.
According to media reports, Tezel was detained as part of an investigation by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office into the Gülen movement on which the Turkish government has been carrying out a massive crackdown since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The movement strongly denies any involvement in the abortive putsch.
Tezel was reportedly interrogated about his tweets that allegedly praised the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government calls a terrorist group.
Tezel angered the government in February 2015 by posting a photo himself on Twitter which showed him depositing money in a branch of Bank Asya, which was closed by the government following the coup attempt due to its links to the Gülen movement.
Tezel’s move was interpreted as a sign of support for the survival of the bank at a time when the bank was unlawfully being seized by the government.
More than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism following the coup attempt by the government as part of its crackdown on the movement.
Depositing money at Bank Asya is also considered a crime by the courts and a sign of support for the Gülen movement, with thousands of people in jail for simply depositing money at its facilities.
Tezel, who has been writing columns about social security issues in various Turkish newspapers for years, currently hosts a program on the issue on Tele1 TV station.