Turkey said the International Criminal Court's (ICC) request for releasing U.N. Judge Sefa Akay, who was arrested due to his links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), is void, since he was not arrested for activities related to the ICC.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu, Turkey's permanent representative to the U.N., responded to the U.N.'s demands for the "terminating of all legal proceedings and the immediate release" of Akay in a letter expressing Turkey's aim to end "all distortions" regarding the issue. Sinirlioğlu drew attention to the fact that Akay was arrested due to his links to FETÖ, stressing that the accusations against the judge are not related to his ICC duties.
Sinirlioğlu stressed that Akay's activities outside the U.N. cannot be included under the scope of his immunity, adding that he will be punished in accordance with Turkish criminal law.
Turkey's U.N. envoy added that the U.N. does not have the authorization to make such a request, calling it an "overtly and worrisome intervention" of Turkey's independent courts, saying the court exceeded its terms of reference with the demand.
On July 15, a small military junta linked to FETÖ attempted to topple the democratically elected president and government in Turkey and impose martial law. The attempt was thwarted by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy.
A total of 248 people, consisting mostly of civilians, were killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 people were injured.
The attempt was masterminded by Fetullah Gülen, who has been living in self-imposed exile on a 400-acre property in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania since 1999.
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