Istanbul’s former governor sentenced to 3 years in prison in FETÖ probe

Former Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu (R) is giving a press statement with Hüseyin Çapkın, former police chief, on April 30, 2013. (Photo: Sabah / Mustafa Kaya)

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced former Istanbul governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu to three years in prison and former police chief Hüseyin Çapkın to two years in jail in a trial over their links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

The court also ordered Mutlu's release, considering the duration he served in jail but imposed a travel ban on both men.

Mutlu, who was detained after last year's July 15 failed coup attempt, faced charges of membership of a terrorist group and attempting to overthrow Turkey's government.

Mutlu served as governor of Istanbul between 2010 and 2014, after which he took a post with the Interior Ministry as a civilian authority.

Police operations targeting the military in 2010 with Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plot allegations and government officials in December 17 and 25, 2013 were conducted during Mutlu's term. Both cases were launched by police officers and prosecutors linked to the FETÖ. Sentences given to active and retired military officers using fake or illegally gathered evidence were overruled by Turkey's Constitutional Court in the Sledgehammer case, while a retrial ruled for the acquittal of all suspects.

The Gezi Park protests, which started as a small environmental protest in Istanbul's Taksim Square before turning into a nationwide unrest following heavy police crackdown, also took place during Mutlu's term in Istanbul.