Jun 22 2019

Former rector and relative of ex-President Gül accused of terror links

A Turkish prosecutor has indicted Prof. Dr. Galip Akhan, a former rector of a university in the western province of İzmir, who is a relative of former Turkish President Abdullah Gül, for allegedly aiding a group Ankara accuses of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt.

A public prosecutor is seeking up to 10 years in prison for the former rector of İzmir Katip Çelebi University on charges of aiding the Gülen movement, opposition news outlet Oda TV reported on Saturday.

Ankara designates the Gülen movement a terrorist organisation and accuses the group of orchestrating the  2016 coup attempt to overthrow the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The indictment follows an anonymous petition filed last year with the country’s top education body, the Council of Higher Education (YÖK), last year, it said.

The 47-page indictment against Akhan includes information on accommodation at hotels coinciding with those of wanted coup suspects and records of phone calls with top-level Gülen movement officials, it said.

Akhan resigned from his post as rector of the İzmir university on Sept. 13, 2017 and was detained shortly thereafter before being released on probation.

Over 77,000 people accused of links to the group have been arrested and another 150,000 public employees suspended or sacked as part of a world-wide crackdown on the group by the Turkish government following the failed coup attempt.