A criminal case has been filed against Zekeriya Öz, a prosecutor affiliated with the Gülen Movement, for threatening and insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan via his Twitter account regarding the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 operations orchestrated by Gülenists in an attempt to topple the government.
Düzce chief public prosecutor's office has filed a criminal case against Bolu public prosecutor Zekeriya Öz – a leading actor in the operations conducted against the top officials in December 2013 – in a statement which read: "As a result of the investigation launched by the Düzce public prosecutor's office into Zekeriya Öz, the body decided to press charges against Öz for insulting and threatening President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the Dec. 17 investigations [via his tweets]."
On Dec. 17, 2013, the Financial Crimes and Battle Against Criminal Incomes department of the Istanbul Security Directory detained 47 people, including government officials as well as prominent businessmen as part of an investigation led by a prosecutor allegedly affiliated with the Gülen Movement. Permission to conduct the investigation into government officials was issued to the prosecutor in question by an alleged Gülenist prosecutor, Zekeriya Öz, with an enactment of the the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). Öz was later accused of being partial while carrying out his duty and the HSYK launched an investigation into Öz for losing his objectivity as a prosecutor when he tweeted adverse thoughts about Erdoğan.
After the investigation implicating government officials became public on Dec. 17, Öz wrote on his Twitter account: "No one should desire dictatorship after the last century. His end will be like Saddam and Gadhafi. No matter who adopts lawlessness pays the price," alluding to President Erdoğan. Öz sent another tweet soon after this one, stating that everyone knows the end of those who attempt to rule a state with tyranny.
Öz, in response to the charges pressed against him, said his tweets did not carry any statement that constituted crime and would share similar tweets "again and again" if a law suit is filed against him.
"I'm unaware that a suit has been filed against me. Düzce public prosecutor's office cannot file a lawsuit against me. I am a first class prosecutor and to my knowledge only the high court can press charges against me. I'm not sure how and why this case has been filed. There is nothing that constitutes crime in my tweets. I will re-send the tweets if a law suit is filed against me." Öz was quoted as saying.
Fethullah Gülen, who resides in the U.S. in self-imposed exile, leads the Gülen Movement, which has charter schools and organizations in hundreds of countries around the world. The movement is currently accused of attempting to infiltrate Turkish state institutions, including the police and judiciary as well as unlawfully wiretapping thousands of journalists, politicians, top secret state meetings and encrypted phones belonging to government officials.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have made it clear that infiltrators will be held accountable for their betrayal and attempts to take over the state.
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