Apr 17 2018

Anti-government Turkish theologian given six-year sentence

A Turkish court has sentenced liberal Islamic theologian İhsan Eliaçık to six years and three months in jail and banned him for leaving Istanbul during the appeals process, Hürriyet newspaper said.

The Istanbul court sentenced Eliaçık for “making propaganda for an armed terror organisation” for a speech made at a conference in the majority-Kurdish city of Diyarbakır.

The speech was also placed on his website, and the court ruled that together with other material on the website that his writings constituted propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed rebel group that has been fighting Turkish forces for more than 30 years.

Eliaçık, whose Anti-Capitalist Muslims played a role in widespread anti-government protests in 2013, has been an outspoken critic of the Turkish government from a religious perspective.

In recent months, there have been crackdowns on religious dissenters, including the Furkan Foundation, whose leader was arrested in January.