Former police chief Anadolu Atayun, under arrest for more than 3 years now over his links to the Gulen movement, has been sentenced to 40 years plus 6 months in prison.

Put in pre-trial detention in May 2015 , the former head of the Konya police’s anti-smuggling and organized crime bureau appeared before the court for his final hearing.

A Konya court convicted Atayun on charges of “membership to a terror group, breach of the investigation process, forgery of official documents, and of slander.”

“I am standind by whatever I did during my tenure. I have alredy given my statement to the prosecutor’s office and the court. If you are going to jail me for all those, I would be proud. Fort his reason, I am seeking neither acquittal or release,” Atayun said during his court hearing.

Eearlier, Turkish government briefly arrested Atayun’s two children, aged 15 and 17 back then, over their alleged use of ByLock, a mobile app that Turkish government claims to be a popular communication tool among followers of the Gulen movement.

Just a month after this, Atayun’s wife was put in pre-trial detention after she was caught red handed while trying to illegally escape to Greece in a boat. Turkish government revoked at least 155,350 passports belonging primarily to spouses of people allegedly affiliated with the Gülen movement or their close relatives.

Atayun’s brother Yurt Atayun, also a former police officer, has been also under arrest for 4 years now for taking part in the 2013 massive corruption investigations that implicated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cabinet.

Turkish government accuses Gulenists of masterminding the July 15, 2016 failed coup while the latter denies involvement. More than 150,000 people have passed through police custody and 90,000 were remanded in pre-trial detention since the summer of 2016.

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