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Jan 25 2019

Anti-government preacher re-arrested a day after giving defying speech at his release

The head of an Islamist group Alparslan Kuytul on Friday once again arrested after he was released.

Kuytul and two of its members were released from jail on Thursday, and Kuytul made a defying speech at his release, social media video has shown.

Alparslan Kuytul, the head of the pro-sharia Furkan Foundation, was released from prison by a court in the southern province of Adana, where the group is based, on Thursday.

After the news spread over the social media that Kuytul was rearrested, a video surfaced which allegedly shows his followers are gathering in front of the police station where Kuytul is taken in south city of Adana.

This story is updated according new developments.

Kuytul and 20 of his followers were arrested in February 2018 on charges of establishing a criminal organisation. Police raids had targeted his house and Furkan’s headquarters in Adana.

“His release will take place today,” said Adem Tural, Kuytul’s lawyer said before the release. He added the lawyers in the court hearing asserted that the case files did not show Furkan was a criminal organisation.

“For this reason, we said that the case must be acquitted,” Tural said in a statement posted on Kuytul’s website.

A verified account for Kuytul has 80,000 followers of Twitter and since 2014 has been critical of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Veysel Dörtgöz and Ali Alagöz were also released with Kuytul, who was being held pending trial in a jail in Bolu province in northwestern Turkey.

The court ordered all three barred from leaving the country, Turkish newspaper Hürriyet reported. Judges said they are yet to decide on whether to lift measures to watch the assets of other suspects who belong to the Furkan Foundation, Hürriyet said.

A large group of Kuytul’s supporters surrounded the Adana courthouse, chanting slogans and celebrating his release. The group disbanded peacefully, Hürriyet said.