Nuri Polat, a lawyer representing Meral Akşener, a former deputy and candidate for leadership of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has been arrested by a Turkish court over alleged links to the Gülen movement.
The Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The movement denies the accusations.
Last week, detention warrants were issued by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against 84 lawyers on the grounds that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock, considered by the Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Thirty-seven of the lawyers were detained and 30 of the lawyers including Akşener’s lawyer Nuri Polat were arrested on Wednesday while seven of them were released on judicial probation.
Akşener has been waging a campaign against incumbent MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, who is an open ally of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Akşener, on the other hand, opposes the changes to the constitution that will be voted in the referendum on April 16.
According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention.