In a trial yesterday over their links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), a prominent family of businesspeople accused of being the main financiers for the group were handed down prison terms of up to 18 years.
A court in Kayseri, a central Turkish city where the Boydak conglomerate was founded, charged Memduh, Hacı, Şükrü and Mustafa Boydak - sons of the two brothers who founded the business empire in the 1950s - with running a terrorist group. Memduh Boydak was sentenced to 18 years, while Mustafa, Bekir, Erol and İlyas Boydak and Murat Bozdağ - the grandson of the conglomerate's founder Sami Boydak - were sentenced to seven years in prison on the same charges. Hacı Boydak, the former CEO of Boydak Holding, and his nephew Şükrü Boydak were sentenced to 11 and 10 years in prison, respectively. Judges also ordered the confiscation the defendants' shares in their conglomerate, which is already being controlled by trustees appointed by the state.
The defendants have denied their links to the terrorist group but admitted to donating to it, though they claimed that they believed FETÖ was a religious charity.
Boydak Holding, which owns 42 companies, from textile and energy to telecommunications and finance, is primarily known for its furniture brand İstikbal. The holding was seized by authorities after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt by FETÖ's infiltrators in the military.
Prosecutors have accused the family running the conglomerate of systematically funding FETÖ, a lender run by FETÖ and giving regular donations to now-defunct charities linked to the group. Between 2008 and 2016 alone, the defendants transferred TL 40.8 million ($8.46 million) to seven entities linked to the terrorist group.