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Former police chiefs among 130 sentenced to prison over Gülen links

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An Ankara court has handed down jail sentences of various lengths to 130 people including jailed police chiefs on multiple charges including terrorism, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Most of the police chiefs who were given jail sentences were arrested before a military coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, following which the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on the Gülen movement.

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

Some of the police chiefs who were sentenced took part in an investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine organization that was once considered the “deep state” in Turkey.

During the last hearing of their trial at the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court, the former police chiefs were given jail sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to 45 years on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, forgery of official documents and violation of the confidentiality of communications as well as political and military espionage.

Former police chief Ramazan Akyürek was given a jail sentence of 45 years; former police chief Gürsel Aktepe, 27 years, four months; former deputy police chief Lokman Kırcılı, 22 years, six months; and former police chiefs Yurt Atayün and Ali Fuat Yılmazer were each given sentences of seven years, six months.

The court acquitted the 37 other defendants in the trial while it separated the files of 43 others.

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