Prof. Dr. Abdüsselam Uluçam, former rector of Batman University and head of an excavation team in Hasankeyf’s historic area, was put in pre-trial arrest as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, on Wednesday.
Detained while inspecting the excavation work at the historic site on Saturday, Ulucam spent 4 days under custody before a Batman court arrested him on July 12.
Ulucam is accused of membership to the Gülen movement, which the government pinned the blame on for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
State-run Anadolu agency said Ulucam was detained, in the first place, for signing a cooperation protocol between Batman University and Albania-based Epoka University, claimed to be affiliated with the movement, and maintaining good relations with the university even after the major corruption and bribery investigations that implicated cabinet ministers and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son in late 2013.
The government claimed that the investigations were an attempt to topple down the government, launched by the movement’s sympathizers within the state bureaucracy. The investigations, which have been closed since then, marked the fallout between the movement and the government and most of the prosecutors as well as police officers taking part in the operations were dismissed.
Meanwhile, more than 120,000 people have been detained over links to the movement since last summer alone. The movement denies involvement both in the coup attempt and an allegedly deliberate attempt to topple down the government with corruption probes.
Hasankeyf is a 12,000-year-old settlement located in Turkey’s eastern province of Batman that survived seven empires including the Byzantines, Romans, Seljuks and Ottomans. The historic town is expected to be submerged under 200 feet of water once a hydroelectric dam is completed.