An Ankara court has handed down prison sentence of 7 years 6 months to former Bitlis governor Veysel Yurdakul on charges of membership in Turkey’s Gülen group and “selling a vacant land to the management of a Gülen-affiliated school in Bitlis.”
According to the Habertürk.com news portal, the former governor is also accused of sending his two children to a school established by Gülen sympathizers in 2010 and of having a bank account at Gülen-affiliated Bank Asya, which was seized by the government before the coup attempt.
During the trial on Wednesday, Yurdakul reportedly admitted that he sent his kids to a Gülen-affiliated school, however; denied selling any vacant land to Gülenists, saying that the selling was done with the approval of Bitlis municipal council.
Turkish government accuses Gülen group of leading a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and considers the group a “terrorist organization” although the latter denies involvement.
Tens of thousands of people including Taner Kılıc, the chairman of Amnesty International in Turkey have been imprisoned over alleged Gülen membership so far.