Alper Ertürk, an Aydin-based teacher who reported himself to a prosecutor for his affiliation to the Gulen movement, has been sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison.
According to state-run Anadolu news agency, Erturk said in a petition to the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office, dated Dec 18, 2014: “I have been involved in Hizmet movement which is also called as camia or cemaat for 20 years. If the camia is a [terror] organization, if watching Samanyolu TV channel is a crime, I am reporting myself. I kindly request you to take necessary action.”
Turkish government pinned the blame for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt on the Gulen movement and considers it a terrorist organization. However, the government pressure on the group goes back to even before the failed coup. The movement was also accused of trying to topple down the government when many cabinet ministers and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son were implicated in 2013 corruption allegations.
Already dismissed from his job as a teacher in the aftermath of the failed coup, Erturk was sentenced on charge of membership to terrorist organization.
Both Samanyolu TV and the private school Erturk was working at were earlier shutter over links to the movement.