Renowned Turkish academic and political scientist Prof. Dr. Sedat Laçiner, held under pre-trial trial detention since July 23, 2016, has been sentenced to 9 years and 4 months in prison.

A Turkish court convicted, on Tuesday, the former rector of the Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University on charges of membership to the Gulen movement, and ruled to keep him behind bars.

The Turkish government accuses Gulenists of masterminding the failed coup while the group denies involvement. More than 450,000 people have been subjected to investigation over ties to the movement since the summer of 2016.

The academic is among hundreds of thousands of people who find themselves facing tremendous difficulties after the government started a desperate crackdown on the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt.

Laçiner studied at Ankara University and the University of Sheffield, where he was awarded an MA in international politics with distinction, and King’s College London, where he obtained his Ph.D. Since 2001, he had been teaching international relations and international security at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University and the National Police Academy Security Studies Institute in Ankara. Professor Laçiner was appointed president of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University in 2011, becoming the youngest rector in Turkey

Laçiner was editor of the Journal of Administrative Studies and Review of International Law and Politics as well as a regular contributor to TRT and other Turkish television and radio broadcasts. He is also chairman of the Journal of Turkish Weekly, a regular columnist for the Star newspaper and general coordinator of Ankara-based think tank the International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO).

He was appointed adviser to the Higher Education Board (YÖK) president, and in 2011 he was appointed president of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (ÇOMÜ) by then-Turkish President Abdullah Gül.

Laçiner is the author/co-author or editor of numerous books and articles, including “Iraq Global War and Turkey,” “The Iraq Crisis,” “Turks and Armenians,” “The World and Turkey,” “European Union with Turkey, Turkey’s Membership’s Impact on the EU,” “The Armenian Diaspora” and “Britain from a Different Perspective.”

He was arrested in July 2016 after the attempted coup, and a prosecutor has demanded life imprisonment for him over his alleged ties to the Gülen movement.