Turkish court acquits anti-gov’t Islamist leader of terror charges

A Turkish court on Tuesday acquitted anti-government Islamist leader Alpaslan Kuytul and two other staff members working with Kuytul’s pro-sharia foundation of terror charges, Duvar news site reported.

Kuytul, the head of the Istanbul-based Furkan Foundation, and two employees of the organisation, were accused of aiding and conducting propaganda for a terrorist organisation. 

Kuytul was arrested in Jan. 2018, along with dozens of the foundation’s directors and members, following a raid on his Istanbul home over suspicion of terrorism, and released on parole after serving 22 months behind bars.

The 55-year-old Islamist leader is a vocal critic of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and made headlines when he called the party as the Development with Oppression Party (ZKP). 

Kuytul on Tuesday called the case an attempt to silence his organisation.

“A legal case of 2.5 years has ended today,” Duvar cited Kuytul as saying. “They tried to silence us, but it failed … Thank God the case has resulted in acquittal.”

Kuytul’s Furkan Foundation has beenoperating in Turkey since 1994.