Court accepts indictment about illegal recruitment and fund collection at top scientific body
by Sena Alkan
ISTANBULMay 27, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Sena Alkan
May 27, 2015 12:00 am
The Ankara 2nd High Criminal Court has accepted an indictment of illegal recruitment and collection of money for an alleged terrorist organization at Turkey's top scientific body, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
The indictment, prepared by the Bureau of Crimes against Constitutional Order, described İdris Aydın, Mehmet Ertaş, Sefer Yıldırım and Recep Kanbay as the plaintiffs and Ali Veysel Tunç, Ersin Güçlü, Vedat Küçük, Mustafa Tatlı, Vedat Babacan, Hüseyin Yavuz, Murat Gökşen and Bekir Konya were called suspects.
In the indictment, it is claimed that those who illegally recruited are TÜBİTAK personnel and held meetings for the Gülen Movement, referred to as a "terrorist organization," and illegally collected money under the guise of donations.
The Gülen Movement is seen as a threat to national security by the government since it is accused of infiltrating top state institutions, including the police and judiciary and wiretapping thousands of people, including senior officials, journalists and actors among many others, with the alleged aim of overthrowing the government. Fethullah Gülen is accused of leading a criminal organization and officials have reported that sufficient solid evidence has been discovered to prove the crimes of which he is accused. It is alleged that members of the Gülen Movement carried out the Dec. 17 operation and infiltrated state institutions in efforts to establish a "parallel structure" and discredit the government through a defamation campaign. Gülen has long been in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, in the U.S.
According to the indictment, the movement collected money from some TÜBİTAK personnel under the guise of the Eid al-Ahda donations and took bonus payments given to victims by TÜBİTAK as promotions in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The indictment said that the suspects threatened victims with dismissal if they did not agree to donate money.
It is claims in the indictment that the suspects in the top scientific body collected money for Eid al-Ahda, relief, zakat and charity and later provided the economic sources for the movement.
Also, a former head of TÜBİTAK, Hasan Palaz, was arrested in early May along with two others as part of the investigation into wiretapping the office of then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is currently serving as president. The suspects are accused of eavesdropping on top officials and of disclosing information of a highly sensitive nature as well as "forming an organization to commit a crime and being a member of this organization," "violating privacy," "illegally seizing personal information" and "forging official documents." Prosecutors are seeking 21 to 36 years in prison for the suspects.
An investigation by Istanbul police announced in February has named Gülen as the prime suspect in a "parallel structure" case. The "parallel structure," a term often used by the government to describe the network of Gülenists in government positions, is claimed to want to overthrow the government. February's investigation was a landmark case as it was the first time that the broad definition of the "parallel structure" was confined to the "Fethullahçı Terrorist Organization." A summary of the proceedings by the police had said that the organization, through illegal wiretapping and surveillance used for blackmailing purposes, aimed to gain access to key posts in Turkey's constitutional establishments, security agencies and administrative and judicial bodies. It also defines the Gülen Movement as an organization engaged in a covert war to overthrow the government.