Author known for controversial books on AKP, Gülen movement attacked in western Turkey

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Turkish author Ergün Poyraz, who is known for his controversial books on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the faith-based Gülen movement, was attacked by three people in front of his house in the western province of Aydın, local media reported late on Monday.

According to Turkish media reports Poyraz received a call before the attack from someone saying they accidentally hit his car parked outside his house in Kuşadası, a large resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast, asking him to come out and check the vehicle for damage.

The writer then came out of his house and was inspecting his car when another car stopped near his house, from which three people got out and attacked him.

Poyraz lost consciousness after being beaten by the assailants, who left the scene immediately after the attack.

The writer, who sustained injuries to his head and body, was later taken to a hospital in Söke.

According to local media reports, Poyraz’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he is only being held under observation as a precaution.

Police in Kuşadası are searching for the assailants, the reports also said.

Poyraz is best known for his 2007 book “Children of Moses,” which accused then-prime minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife Emine Erdoğan of being secret Jews and of cooperating with Israeli intelligence to undermine Turkish secularism.

The writer was arrested in 2007 and was a defendant in the Ergenekon trials, in which a number of people, mainly military officers, were prosecuted for allegedly plotting a coup against the AKP government.

Although Poyraz was sentenced to 29 years, six months in prison, he was released in 2014 after spending only six years, nine months behind bars.

The case was ultimately dismissed and all the defendants were acquitted. Some government officials as well as pro-government media published reports asserting that the Ergenekon trial was the work of judges, prosecutors and police officers affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement.

In 2013, Poyraz also lost a libel case brought on behalf of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the Gülen movement, over his book “Amerika’daki İmam” (The Imam in America), in which he accused the cleric of being a CIA agent.

Politicians, journalists, writers and others critical of President Erdoğan and his ruling AKP, as well as its ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), are often targeted in attacks by large groups in Turkey and abroad.

Sedat Kılınç, a member of the MHP’s Kocasinan district council in Kayseri who recently resigned from the party, was attacked by a mob minutes before appearing on a TV program last week and forced out of the studio.

Kılınç resigned after MHP Kayseri lawmaker Baki Ersoy was referred to the party’s central disciplinary board over criticism of Turkey’s record-high consumer prices, which rose to an annual rate of 61.14 percent in March.

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