Former espionage suspect: Gülenist prosecutors asked for TL 70M for acquittal

Published 19.11.2015 21:21

The top defendant figure in a military espionage case in İzmir, Bilgin Özkaynak, said that Gülen Movement linked prosecutors offered him an acquittal in exchange for TL 70 million ($24.5 million).

"I have documents and submitted them to the court. They wanted TL 70 million from me both during the case and when I neared released. After giving the money, they wanted me to leave Turkey. They were thinking that they would confiscate my marina and ships," he claimed.

Özkaynak, who is a prominent businessman in Marmaris, said that he was horribly victimized by Gülenists in this case in which he was detained all of a sudden on a charge of running prostitution and later accused of being the head of a spying organization. He was imprisoned for two-and-a-half years.

He said: "Those who set the plot are a grand secret organization. Everybody understands it now. Parties, associations and even mosques must be careful with this issue."

Previously in the beginning of November, police took a total of 44 people into custody in an operation against Gülenist figures who allegedly infiltrated state institutions in İzmir and in 17 other provinces across Turkey.

The suspects are accused of playing a role in the possibly erroneous designation of defendants in a previous case in 2012. In effect, the latter were accused in 2012 of "keeping military information and documents of a confidential nature."

Among the fresh batch of detainees are reportedly a former İzmir police chief, two deputy police chiefs and some governors.

The Gülen Movement is led by U.S.-based fugitive imam Fethullah Gülen and it is accused of carrying out illegal wiretapping and terrorist activities to bring down the democratically elected government. Its members are accused of infiltrating government institutions, such as the police and judiciary, to be able to conduct operations against what it considers a foe. Recently, Gülen was listed among Turkey's most wanted terrorists by the Interior Ministry.

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