The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday asked for lengthy prison terms for six defendants, including the Amnesty International’s Turkey representative in what has been dubbed the "Büyükada trial.”
During the hearing held in the Istanbul 35th High Criminal Court, the leading prosecutor asked that Taner Kılıç, Amnesty International's Turkey representative, receive up to 15 years in prison and a minimum of seven years, six months for “being a member of an armed terror group.”
Kılıç has been in custody since June 2017 over charges of membership in the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the deadly 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, among other charges. Kılıç was arrested after authorities discovered he was using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app exclusively used by FETÖ, and had unusual activity in his bank account after demands by the terrorist group’s leader.
Other defendants, Günal Kurşun from the Human Rights Agenda Association, İdil Eser who was an AI Turkey board member, Özlem Dalkıran from the Citizens Assembly, Nejat Taştan from the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights and former Association for Human Rights, and Veli Acu who was AI Turkey's director, were asked for prison terms from four to seven years all the way up to 15 years over aiding FETÖ, the PKK terrorist organization and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) in which they were members.
The prosecutor’s office asked for the acquittals of German national Peter Frank Steudtner, Swedish national Ali Ghravi and Turkish nationals İlknur Üstün, Nalan Ekrem and Muhammed Şeyhmus Özbekli, stating the lack of conclusive and convincing evidence through digital investigations to prove their aid to the terrorist organizations.
The suspects were detained on July 5, 2017, at a meeting on Büyükada of Istanbul's Princes' Islands.
The prosecutor initially charged the suspects with inciting violent and chaotic mass public protests and making propaganda on behalf of the related terrorist organizations.