Süleyman Kaçmaz, the deputy police chief in Kocaeli’s Gebze district until he was dismissed and ultimately arrested over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, has demanded the recusal of the judge who oversees a judicial investigation against him, accusing the judge of having ties to the movement as well.
“I heard that your two children studied at preparation schools belonging to the organization called FETÖ. I heard that you won’t act impartial in order to hide your affiliation. I demand your recusal,” Kaçmaz told the judge during his first hearing on Thursday.
While the judge said he is not entitled to examine recusal requests, he ordered the continuation of Kaçmaz’s imprisonment and scheduled the next hearing on Apr. 1.
Kaçmaz was arrested over his alleged use of ByLock, a smartphone messaging application that Turkish prosecutors claim to be the main communication tool among Gülen movement, and two sheets from a Zaman newspaper and that police found at his home, on Sept. 1, 2016.
During the home search, police also raided some cassettes of Gül Sultan Yamanlar children’s choir, released by a movement affiliated producer.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
An immediate purge launched against the movement has proved to know no boundaries as many criticized the government for violating the principle of individual criminal responsibility.