Mayor who stopped anti-coup call jailed

Published 17.01.2018 00:00

A mayor accused of assaulting an imam making a public call to resist the July 15 coup attempt two years ago was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison yesterday.

Ayhan Ödübek, mayor of the İnhisar district of the western city of Bilecik, was implicated in a case in which he was accused of assaulting an imam and switching off power at a mosque during the coup bid. Upon the government's orders, imams had recited sala, a call to prayer similar to the adhan, at midnight, accompanied by a message from country's leaders to resist the coup attempt blamed on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Some imams and muezzins (mosque attendants tasked with reciting the adhan) were subject to violence by civilians that night while putschists in Istanbul had fired at a mosque to stop the public call.

Ödübek was charged with "insult to national sentiment, resisting a civil servant and insulting him." The mayor, who resigned from his Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) after the putsch bid, had claimed he tried to stop the "untimely" sala that "could provoke people." He claimed he was not aware that it was recited upon instructions by the government and had denied assaulting the imam.

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