Istanbul's former governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and police chief Hüseyin Çapkın appeared before a court Wednesday in the first hearing of a trial for their links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
The two men sat next to each other as they did in various events they attended during their tenure in Istanbul between 2010 and 2014. Along with Çapkın and Mutlu, 13 former provincial and district governors stand trial for helping the terrorist group gain a foothold in the cities they governed.
Mutlu and Çapkın face three instances of aggravated life imprisonment for membership of a terrorist group and attempting to overthrow the government, in relation to the July 15, 2016 coup attempt carried out by the terrorist group.
The indictment says Mutlu was in touch with senior FETÖ figures and a now-defunct charity used by the terrorist group to secretly fund its illegal activities.
Çapkın, who was dismissed from his post as Istanbul police chief following the Dec. 17 coup attempt by FETÖ, is accused of helping FETÖ to place its infiltrators in law enforcement. Mutlu and Çapkın were detained following July 15 coup bid that killed 249 people.
FETÖ, which evolved into a terrorist group from a seemingly religious movement, planted its members into critical posts in the judiciary, law enforcement, bureaucracy and military for decades, according to indictments related to the terrorist group. Their ultimate goal was to seize power but it spectacularly failed when an unprecedented public resistance stopped the coup attempt last year.
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